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Article: "Road builders and Irish Rail disputes to cost €100m"

  • 21-08-2010 10:39am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭ Empire o de Sun


    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0821/1224277319004.html
    THE STATE is facing further claims estimated in excess of €100 million as a result of disputes between road builders and Iarnród Éireann.
    As recently reported in this newspaper Ban Civil the consortium which built the M9 Waterford to Knocktopher road scheme, lodged a claim for €30 million with Kilkenny County Council over what it said were delays in reaching agreement for work on the Knockmoylan railway bridge.
    Now it has emerged similar claims for additional payments were lodged with local authorities in counties Clare, Galway, Meath and Carlow. All allege delays by Iarnród Éireann in processing approval for bridge works.
    The claim against Clare County Council was lodged by the Gama Strabag consortium, builders of the Ennis bypass.
    Another claim relates to the Navan inner relief road in Co Meath. Regan Contractors became involved in a dispute with Iarnród Éireann over a crossing of the line between Tara Mines and Drogheda. The Navan inner relief road opened in May 2009 about three years after its projected date of 2006.
    The Irish Times understands another dispute citing Iarnród Éireann in a claim for compensation relates to a crossing of the Dublin to Waterford Railway line as part of the Carlow bypass. Two claims have previously been lodged with Galway County Council alleging delays in the approval of two bridges on the N6 Ballinasloe to Athlone route. In addition, in late 2008 the consortium building the Kilcullen to Waterford section of the N9/N10 was granted almost €7 million in compensation due to delays in obtaining consent from Iarnród Éireann for the construction of a bridge over a rail line along the route.
    Neither Iarnród Éireann nor the National Roads Authority (NRA) could say this week how many claims for compensation had been made or what the value of those claims was. Both agencies said that they were not defendants in the claims which were made against the local authorities in whose name the road schemes were carried out.
    But according to documents released by the NRA under the Freedom of Information Act, the authority was so concerned about the situation it raised the issue with Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey more than two years ago.
    Internal NRA documents of the time revealed: “The NRA is continuing to incur significant costs as a consequence of contractor claims in respect of disruption to work programmes for major road schemes because of undue delays on the part of Iarnród Éireann in the approval of national road bridges over railway lines.”
    Iarnród Éireann has consistently maintained its concerns were in the interests of the safety of the travelling public.
    In a statement it said: “Given that many contractors have had works approved smoothly, any elongation of the approval process in individual instances is down to contractors failing to meet or provide for in their own planning what are uniform standards in works which impact on the railway line.”


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,888 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Hmmm, who do we believe? The NRA or IE.

    One started off badly but learned from its mistakes and has delivered to its credit a very comprehensive motorway network and many improvements to other national roads. The other started off badly and got worse.

    I'm inlcined to lean on the side of the NRA given no additional information. I find it hard to believe a company that has presided over 2 serious bridge collapses in less than a decade would be that concerned about the safety of the travelling public.

    Compare to the NRA which recently forced a contractor to tear a bridge down and rebuild it after it narrowly failed its slump test!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Another excellent example of the way our state bodies often seem to operate - clashing and clanging into each other with absolutely no co-operation, or "liaison" being the buzzword they love to slap into the EIS documents and PR leaflets.

    I'm more inclined to think it's IE's fault, but either way it's utterly ridiculous. This is our money being flapped around and claimed and paid out in compensation and wasted etc.

    All this said, I agree with the above. I have to say the NRA have done in many respects a good job, despite my often heavy criticism. I don't like CIE (nor do I think there is ANY reason for their existence with the new NTA quango), but at least Dublin Bus is getting its act together and while far from brilliant, Bus Eireann provides a half-okay service on many routes. Irish Rail like to huff and puff about all their improvements when in reality the service continues to chugg and rattle on, supported only by the fuel that is people's high tolerance of crap quality.

    It is a joke that the approval and timing for a bridge wasn't dealt with fully during the EIS process.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 115 ✭✭ 123easy


    The new motorway network makes travel by train far less attractive... In some cases you can travel the route quicker by car / bus on the motorway... so much so that IE are continuously & running promotions discounted online tickets...


    Its well known within the industry which one is notoriously slow & awkward.
    murphaph wrote: »
    Compare to the NRA which recently forced a contractor to tear a bridge down and rebuild it after it narrowly failed its slump test!

    narrowly failed its slump test - my ass! It had to come down cos some 20N concrete got accidently poured instead of 40N.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/1021/1224257144951.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,888 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    123easy wrote: »
    The new motorway network makes travel by train far less attractive... In some cases you can travel the route quicker by car / bus on the motorway... so much so that IE are continuously & running promotions discounted online tickets...


    Its well known within the industry which one is notoriously slow & awkward.



    narrowly failed its slump test - my ass! It had to come down cos some 20N concrete got accidently poured instead of 40N.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/1021/1224257144951.html
    Fair enough, I'd forgotten the figures. Point still stands though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    Mr Gannon said the concrete in the bridge was supposed to have a strength of 40 neutrons, but the concrete that was used had been intended for the central barrier.
    :rolleyes:

    From a quick google, 40 newtons is concrete shorthand for 40N/mm^2 or in SI terms 40MPa.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭ Empire o de Sun


    dowlingm wrote: »
    :rolleyes:

    From a quick google, 40 newtons is concrete shorthand for 40N/mm^2 or in SI terms 40MPa.

    40N concrete is actually wrong. It is now C32/40, Ireland and the UK base their concrete strengths on the cube, but other countries based theirs on the cylinder, so in order to not confuse both a new strength class now exists.
    In my opinion one option should have been picked, but that's me. It's now EN206-1, countries that do their own standards will put their mark on it, like

    UK - BS EN 206-1
    Germany - DIN EN 206-1


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 878 rainbowdash


    Well my favourite p1ssing contest between IE and a road was at Foynes a few years ago where I believe IE were insisting on automatic level crossings being installed on a line which they had neglected past being functional. They compromised on a manual crossing, which were never used.


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