13 February 2003
The Welsh assembly and Powys County Council have awarded the first road contract under a new procurement initiative. No design work was involved at the tendering stage.
The assembly's transport directorate will team up with the winning consortium of Wales-based companies led by Thyssen to develop a design and agree on construction costs for the Talgarth relief road and Bronllys bypass.
Alan Perry, contracts officer at the directorate, said bidders for road contracts usually submit designs as part of the tender.
In this case, the government and contractor will work on the design, improving understanding of risk assessment.
"By bringing the contractor in early, you can sort out potential problems and get a more reliable construction schedule," said Perry.
Potential bidders are deterred by the cost of designing something that may not lead to a contract, said Dave Thomas, business development manager at Thyssen, and chairman of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association in Wales.