The cost of the much needed bypass at King’s Dyke in Whittlesey is expected to be “significantly higher” than first thought.
A budget of £13.8 million has been set aside for the long awaited project but this is already due to be millions of pounds less than the final cost.
A Cambridgeshire County Council report states that the estimated project costs are now expected to “significantly exceed” £16.9 million.
In addition, works which were due to begin this autumn are now set to begin early next year.
The council has sent out a press release to the media on the scheme.
Under the headline ‘King’s Dyke design work is progressing well and almost complete’, a spokesperson wrote: “The council is adamant the new crossing at King’s Dyke on the A605 should progress despite an expected increase in budget required to deliver the scheme.”
The existing level crossing has been a huge inconvenience for people travelling between Whittlesey and Peterborough due to downtime of the barriers, and future plans by the rail industry to increase trains along the route are set to further increase traffic delays.
The spokesperson added: “Following ground investigation work earlier this year and discussions with landowners, the project is progressing and means our contractor can finalise the design in preparation for work to start as planned early next year.
“The scheme requires significant earthworks, ground stabilisation and a bridge to be constructed over the railway line, which can only be closed for very short periods of time.
“Therefore the scheme needs careful design and planning with survey results from both the existing highway and along the proposed route.
“The design work is nearing completion, which has allowed more detailed development of the project and, therefore, a greater understanding of the amount of work required to deliver the scheme.
“This work is informing the development of a construction phase price and early indications are showing the construction cost is expected to be significantly higher than estimated prior to the detailed design phase.
“Considerable land and diversion of utility equipment costs, such as high voltage cables, are also adding to the overall increase in budget required for the scheme.”