Council tackles construction challenges to get projects built

Orange Council

Orange City Council is looking for ways to deal with widespread delays in the construction industry and major increases in building costs, while still delivering major projects for the community of Orange.

A planned upgrade of Clergate Road is the latest project to fall victim to the problem of supply delays and higher costs that are affecting industry across Australia.

This month’s Orange City Council meeting was due to consider tenders for the proposal to upgrade a one-kilometre section of Clergate Road, from Quartz Street to north of Industry Drive, including the construction of a short section of a new road into the Clergate Road industrial subdivision.

The Council meeting decided not to accept any of the tenders and to invite new tenders on a revised project scope. The meeting also decided to buy the pre-cast concrete pipes needed for the project.

The project included widening and strengthening of the existing Clergate Road pavement, construction of approximately 1.1km of underground stormwater drainage, kerb and gutter, new street lighting and an extension of the existing footpath between Quartz Street and Ralston Drive.

It was envisaged these works would take between 9 and 12 months to complete. Council staff will start site preparation works on water and other services shortly and roads works will commence later in the year.

The project was to be funded by $3.3 million in state and federal government grants.

Orange Mayor Cr Jason Hamling said it was disappointing that tenders received were significantly more than the budget.

“Anyone who’s tried to build a house in recent months, knows how much prices have gone through the roof and how much longer it takes to get building materials,” Cr Jason Hamling said.

“This is an important piece of local infrastructure for the local community, and we want to find ways to get it done.”

Orange City Council Infrastructure Committee chair Cr Jack Evans said the council is going ‘on the front foot’ to deal with industry challenges. “It’s important for the community to know that while we’re going back to the market, we’re also getting on with the project,” Cr Jack Evans said.

“Whenever the tender does get awarded, there’ll still be delays in the delivery of the pre-cast concrete pipes that are needed for the stormwater channels. What we’ve decided to do, is place the order now for the components we need. That gets us in the queue for delivery in time for awarding of the construction contract.”

“There’s a part of this project that’s about relocating water mains. Council has the expertise in our water team to do this work in-house. That’s another part of the project we can get on with and doing that work ourselves should reduce the price of the revised tender scope.”

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