A565 in Bonn: Works on the North Bridge to take longer than expected

A565 in Bonn : Works on the North Bridge to take longer than expected

The construction work on the North Bridge to extend the hard shoulder into a third lane will take at least six months longer. The contracting authority Straßen NRW is paying companies bonuses for punctuality.

Those who can keep their pulse under control can use the morning traffic jam on the North Bridge these days for an extensive panoramic view of springtime in Bonn. This dubious pleasure looks likely to continue for many commuters over the summer too. Friedericke Schaffrath, project manager at Straßen NRW for motorways in the Bonn area, explained when asked by the GA that the work will probably take around half a year longer than planned. “We will probably not be able to finish the current construction work on the A565 until October,” said Schaffrath.

The works started at the beginning of July 2018. The hard shoulder between the North Bridge and the Bonn-Nordost junction heading towards Cologne will be extended into a third lane. Two emergency stopping bays will also have to be set up for this purpose. The road surface drainage is also being renovated. The water will no longer run off with bits of rubber from tyres and oil and petrol residues untreated into the Sieg, but will be collected in a basin in Beuel and first cleaned.

Planning changes became necessary during the works said Schaffrath, explaining the delay. A retaining wall had to be slightly changed, which resulted in new static calculations. There were also changes to the drainage plan.

Incentives for appointed companies

Since last year, the state enterprise has been making a fundamental effort to ensure projects are completed on schedule, especially at sensitive motorway construction sites, by using a new concept. “To this end we are relying on an incentive system that provides both for contractual penalties for delays as well as bonuses for early completion,” says Kathrin Draheim-Bohemann, the department head responsible for procurement and contracting at the Gelsenkirchen headquarters.

The new concept applies to 117 of the around 1000 contracts awarded last year. Bonuses and penalties have also been included for the construction sites on the North Bridge as well as for the planned motorway bridge over the future route of the S13. The system has already proven itself during the renovation of motorway 59 between Cologne Porz and Wahn. “The first construction phase there was completed ahead of schedule,” Draheim-Bohemann is pleased to report. While the state enterprise is only legally allowed to agree penalties of five per cent of the construction cost, in this case it awarded ten percent more for faster work.

“This is a noticeable incentive for companies,” believes Draheim-Bohemann. However, the system no longer applies if the conditions change on site, as at the North Bridge, making technical changes necessary. “Then we have to renegotiate. And companies no longer have to accept the deadlines and penalties.”

(Original text: Martin Wein. Translation: Kate Carey)

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