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Topic: Update from Connect  Plus
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Posted by: Guy Lambert
Date/Time: 03/10/23 14:35:00

They are contracted by National Highways to "fix" the M4 supports. They appear, via dozens on inter companies to be subsidiaries of Balfour Beatty - a very large construction company.
I have been chasing them for updates on the construction and disruption of Windmill Road. Bearing in mind the work was supposed to be finished in May until for obscure reasons it was stopped for the coronation. Apparently the costs of this stoppage are alleged to be £400K, this will be paid for by Connect Plus, no doubt out of the directors' pocket money rather than via the majority of their revenues that come from the UK Taxpayer.
When they restarted a few weeks ago they promised Windmill Road would only be closed at night, and the whole works would be finished in November.

"Thank you for your emails regarding the ongoing M4-A4 concrete pier repairs. Connect Plus Services works on behalf of National Highways and Connect Plus to manage, operate and maintain the M25 and its linking roads, as well as the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing.

I note your comments about the closure of Windmill Road and I’d again like to apologise for the inconvenience that this is causing. As you have observed, whilst this area is closed due to work on surrounding piers, we have put in place welfare facilities for our operatives on site.

Having facilities in this location means that they are nearby for operatives, therefore negating the need for them to leave the area, reducing the time operatives are away from the site and therefore increasing production.

With regards to the possibility of re-opening Windmill Road, we are aiming to have this crossing re-opened by 9 December 2023. Please be assured any change to this date will be communicated to you.

We’ve assessed a number of different options here to allow us to speed up the delivery of these works, which included using overnight closures, but have found that working in this way would not be feasible in terms of either working safely, or delivering a suitable standard of repairs.

Our works remain on schedule to be fully completed as planned in December 2023, as per the progress tracker sent in our most recent update to you of 29 September 2023.

The original date proposed for completion includes a certain amount of delay/risk allowance, this is something that is very common within construction programs in order to allow for any unforeseen risks that may arise. It is due to an unforeseen risk that we have had to carry out additional works to piers.

Although initial surveys were carried out previously to determine the level of works required, further areas of delamination were discovered during the Hydrodemolition process used to remove the effected concrete. These areas have increased the amount of works being carried out on some of the piers therefore increasing the duration of completion.

Although this has lengthened the time of some of the elements of the program, we have been able to mitigate some of this time by working weekends, installing additional temporary welfare facilities, such as those at Windmill Lane, and increasing resource. This has allowed us to utilise the time/risk allowance and not exceed the overall completion date.

Furthermore, I note your comments about the finances involved with the removal of our works in April, in advance of the coronation of King Charles. Whilst I’m not at liberty to discuss the costs in detail, I would like to assure you that this was paid for out Connect Plus’ own resources and not with funds from the public purse."

When I'm back from a short holiday I will communicate further to Vonnect Plus. This will include my response here and anything else you would like me to inform them of.

Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
Update from Connect  Plus 03/10/23 14:35:00 Guy Lambert
   Re:Update from Connect  Plus 03/10/23 17:18:00 Raymond Havelock
   Re:Update from Connect  Plus 03/10/23 18:56:00 Alison Robins
      Re:Re:Update from Connect  Plus 04/10/23 06:51:00 David Cook

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