LETTER TO CLERK TO THE COMMITTEE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND FORESTRY
I refer further to your letter of 19 September 1984 about Howth Habour Development Scheme and enclose the following documents about costings received from the Office of Public works:
(a)Schedule of costs in respect of works initially tendered for (Appendix 8.2.1) with Notes thereon;
(b)Schedule of costs in respect of the additional works (Appendix 8.2.2) with Notes thereon;
(c)Details of cost of syncrolift (Appendix 8.2.3) with Note; and
(d)Statement of estimated cost of scheme. (Appendix 8.2.4.)
Your attention is directed specially to the items in Appendix 8.2.4. in respect of “Costs arising out of settlement of Final Account with Contractor”. As this matter is still the subject of negotiation with the Contractor the Office Public Works consider it most important that this figure should not be made public.
(see also notes in relation to each item)
A. Works initially tendered for:-
(All figures exclude VAT and effects of Price Variation Clause).
Notes to Appendix 8.2.1.
(i)Final estimated cost is based on actual quantities of materials, etc. used.
(ii)An alternative method of reclamation proved possible resulting in a reduction in cost.
(iii)Additional quantities (of material, etc.) were required to meet the design specification.
(iv)It was anticipated that some rock as well as soft material would have to be excavated in order to achieve the required depth of water. However, the amount of rock which had to be removed was much greater than anticipated. The net charges per cubic metre for removal of rock and soft material (included in the Contractor’s tender) were £16.29 and £2.10 respectively, rock being almost 8 times more costly than soft material. See also note (viii) below.
(v)Additional quantities (of material etc.) were required to meet the design specification.
(vi)The increase arises out of the necessity to extend the system to the additional areas, e.g. boatyard provided during the scheme, and to employ a Consultant to handle the design etc. of the works. A capital contribution had also to be made to the E.S.B.
(vii)The original proposals had to be modified to meet the requirements of Dublin Corporation - see note (xi) below also.
(viii)The work provided for in the tender documents was provisional because at that time no decision had been taken as to the alternative facilities or locations thereof which might be provided in lieu of the moorings which would have to be removed to facilitate the Scheme. During the early stages of the contract, the details of the facilities etc. to be provided were eventually agreed at meetings between the Howth Yacht Club and the Departments of Fisheries, Finance and O.P.W. Aside from the difficulty of adequately providing for this work in the tender documents in advance of decisions in the matter, the factor which most influenced the cost was the site conditions which were encountered.
Between 1962 and 1964, two independent borehole site investigations of the harbour-bed were carried out at Howth harbour. These were a pre-requisite to determining subsoil conditions for subsequent dredging and foundation design of the quay walls and breakwaters to be incorporated in the proposed Fishery Harbour Centre Development Scheme. The first investigation, by Le Grand Adsco of Gt. Britain, covered basically the western half of the harbour where the Fishery Harbour Centre was to be primarily located. It was carried out in 1962/63. The second survey, by Orrje & Co., of Sweden, was carried out in 1964 and covered the eastern half of the harbour where subsequently, the Yacht mooring Basin was located. At that time, the provision of this facility was not contemplated. where boreholes from the two contract investigations occurred close together, it was noted that there were some discrepancies on occasions between the descriptions of subsoil conditions, particularly in regard to rock levels and/or descriptions of non-rock materials. This was considered to be due possibly to the two different methods of site investigation. In subsequently determining the level of rock horizons, where such came within dredging levels or levels for foundations of quay walls, etc., a conservative interpretation was adopted i.e. rock was assumed at a higher level than might in fact have been the case. However, when the works came to be carried out, especially those sections excavated “in the dry” including the Yacht Mooring Basin, a geological horizon was disclosed which could not have been interpreted from both site investigations and was worse than anticipated. As with the Fishery Harbour Centre Basin, much greater quantities of rock were encountered than was anticipated from the site investigation results. This despite the fact that the yacht basin area was located so as to seemingly minimise rock excavation as indicated by the site investigations.
The Board has carried out similar investigations by Contract as pre-requisites to major marine works around the coast. In general subsoil conditions have proved to be as anticipated. However, there have been occasions where departures from expected subsoil conditions have arisen with consequent increases in costs. No Civil Engineering Contract, whether for land or marine works, is exempt from unforeseen contingencies.
(xi)Included in the P.C. sums were amounts of (i) £10,000 in respect of works of an amenity nature and (ii) £60,000 in respect of boat bunkering facilities. As to (i), it was subsequently agreed between the Department of Fisheries and Dublin Corporation that the Corporation would undertake the work on payment of a contribution of £32,200 from the Dept. of Fisheries. As to (ii) the work as envisaged was not carried out but some work which will facilitate the installation of boat bunkering facilities as some future date was carried out and its cost is included in Item (v).
(a)The total amount of the tender is shown as £3,582,317. This excluded V.A.T.; the contract amount was £3,689,787.06.
(b)It will be noted that the difference between the present estimated cost and the tender amount is £1,938,000 approx. The different between the cost of dredging/excavation of both the fishery harbour basin and the yacht mooring basin and their tender amounts is £1,840,000 approx. The cause of this increase has been outlined in paragraph (viii) above.
(see also notes in relation to each item)
B. Additional Works
(Figures exclude VAT and effects of Price Variation Clause)
Notes to Appendix 8.2.2
(i)When excavation for the new quay base was in progress, it was found that the base of part of the West Pier was founded on a bed of soft material and at a much higher level than could have been anticipated. Because of this it was necessary to underpin a section of the pier and to adopt an alternative (and more costly) method of construction using steel sheet piles and ground anchors.
(ii)Subsequent to the invitation of tenders for the scheme but prior to the placing of the contract, the approval of the Department of Finance had been obtained to the provision of a boatyard (and transfer pit). It was, however, too late at that stage to include the work in the contract and it was accepted that the work would become an addition.
(iii)It had been intended to execute minor sewerage works but it also had been assumed that the then existing sewerage arrangements on the West Pier would not be affected - the demolition of all properties on the West Pier was at that time under consideration. Following the decision of the Department of Fisheries that properties on the West Pier would, where feasible, be retained, the Dublin Corporation insisted on connection of the sewerage to its sewerage system. A new system had therefore to be installed.
(iv)Because of the extent of the works carried out, an E.S.B. sub-station had to be provided as part of the arrangement for supply of power.
(v)Following on the decision to provide a boatyard, it was necessary to acquire the leasehold interest of tenants properties on the West Pier in order to lay tracks from the syncrolift to the boatyard. As in the case of the boatyard, the extra cost of this item was anticipated prior to the placing of the contract.
(vi)This work was carried out at the request of the Commissioners of Irish Lights which body has control of lights around the coast.
(vii)These were provided, (one at the head of the West Pier Breakwater, the other at the head of the Trawler Pier Breakwater) following representations from fishing interests that the slopes of those breakwaters might be a danger to fishing vessels when approaching the Fishery Basin, particularly in rough weather.
(viii)The proposal in the original scheme was to provide a breakwater only for the purpose of providing shelter. Other than that, the structure would be of no use to fishermen for their various fishery harbour operations. The facing of the west side of the breakwater would be done at a later stage. Because of the method of operations adopted by the contractor, i.e. the dewatering of portion of the harbour and execution of work within this portion “in the dry”, the opportunity presented itself of carrying out the facing of part of the west side of the breakwater at a cost which would be substantially less than that of executing the work “in the wet” at a later stage. This “facing”, involved the construction of more than 600 feet of quay and berthage and provided an extra working area of 50,000 sq.ft. approx. At the time that this extra work was proposed (October 1979), it was estimated that the reduction in cost by executing the work “in the dry”, as opposed to “in the wet” would be not less than £250,000.
(ix)Following the decision to provide a boatyard, it is necessary to surface it and link road to the reclaimed area at the back of the West Pier. As to the surfacing of the West Pier, the old surface was poor and, as it was necessary to excavate it to install a new sewerage scheme and put underground the power lines, etc, it became necessary to resurface the Pier.
(x)This is referred to in note (xi) to Appendix 8.2.1.
(xi)The amount represents less than 2% of the overall estimated cost of the project and is in respect of minor works necessary to complete the scheme satisfactorly.
The installation of syncrolifts is undertaken directly by O.P.W. - only civil engineering works e.g. formation of the syncrolift basin, is undertaken by contract. Accordingly, OPW purchases directly the materials required and fabricates the structure (at its Central Engineering Workshops) and installs the equipment on site. The cost given above includes VAT on materials purchased and the charges (wages, overheads, etc.) of the OPW staff involved in the work.
As with the boatyard and transfer pit, the provision of a syncrolift was approved prior to the placing of a contract for the civil engineering works.
* Deleted in accordance with paragraph 2, Appendix 8.2