Hertfordshire county council has outlined how Covid-19 is impacting the delivery of road and traffic projects.
Officers said highway services firm Eurovia had ceased operations on 1 April until further notice to ensure the safety of their teams and members of the public. “This will have a significant impact on remaining programmes of work and will affect all carriageway resurfacing/reconstruction schemes,” said Hertfordshire’s director of resources, Scott Crudgington. “Eurovia were scheduled to deliver 220 schemes during 2020/21, with more than half of these planned between April and September 2020.”
The council would make some savings in fees paid to consultant WSP, which holds the client support contract for highways, he added. “Due to the impact of Covid-19 on their global business, WSP have taken the difficult decision to reduce the salaries of all their staff, including those engaged in delivering services for the county council, from 1 April 2020 for a three-month period.” The council’s payment to WSP is related to staff pay.
A separate officer report said one expected impact of the lockdown would be that “a number of smaller scale construction companies involved in the supply chain are likely to close permanently”.
Assuming a 12-week virus impact to manage, officers estimate the additional cost of keeping a worksite open on the A120 Little Hadham bypass could be £960,000, and on the New River bridge scheme in Hoddesdon £240,000. “If, however, the virus results in slowing of works progress as a result of labour, plant and materials shortages or delay in the supply chain, [this] is likely to delay the scheme progress resulting in more significant impacts.”
Discussing safety critical highway works, officers said “to maintain social distancing, teams that usually travel together will need to travel in separate vehicles, and that will put up costs”.
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