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Enabling works start for £65m Carlisle Southern Link Road

Morgan Sindall is due to start enabling works next week on its £65m Carlisle Southern Link Road project.

The 8km road project, which is being delivered as a two-stage design and build contract, moves forward with construction of two site compounds at Newby West and near to M6 Junction 42.

In early Spring, construction of essential site access will commence, including access roads to the west of the River Caldew and borehole installation for long-term groundwater monitoring.

Cumbria County Councillor Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said, “This is an exciting step for the scheme as the link road will vastly improve east to west connectivity as well as unlocking the delivery of St Cuthbert’s Garden Village, a Carlisle City Council scheme, which aims to deliver 10,000 new homes, infrastructure and employment to Carlisle and the wider county.”

Morgan Sindall’s team includes Capita as designer who had undertaken the preliminary design and development of the scheme for Cumbria County prior to joining the Morgan Sindall team. Local contractor Story Construction is also part of the Morgan Sindall team.

The CSLR will connect Junction 42 of the M6 with the A595 and will connect with Carlisle Northern Development route from the A595 to Junction 44 of the M6.

The project is key to the successful delivery of growth projects and initiatives such as the St.Cuthberts Garden Village, a council-led scheme that will deliver 10,000 new homes and employment opportunities within Carlisle.

Works include four new roundabouts, five cycle bridges and four road bridges and a cycle path along the northern side along its full length.

Two of the bridges will cross Network Rail’s West Coast Main Line and Cumbrian Coast Line.


Construction materials cost increases hit 40-year high

The latest Building Cost Information Service Materials Cost Index shows price rises hitting a 40-year high.

Industry analysts at the RICS owned organisation said that between January and September 2021 the greatest increases were seen for steel and timber with increases set to continue well into next year.

James Fiske, Director of BCIS, said: “The cost of materials in constructing a 3-bedroom semi-detached hous has increased by 14% or approximately £7,300 between January and September 2021. It is expected to grow by further 1% or £600 by the end of this year.”

Joe Martin, BCIS Lead Consultant added: “The pressure on materials prices and availability is expected to continue at least until the end of 2022. Labour shortages are expected to evolve as the significant driver for overall construction cost increases next year and the construction sector would need to compete for it with other sectors”.

For full details of the BCIS analysis click here.

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