The gov has announced that the contractor delivering the prom scheme, Auldyn Construction, has said that the planned completion date has moved to the end of September. 

In a statement sprinkled with criticism of Auldyn, the gov notes that the DoI has even taken over parts of the scheme itself. It has also previously been confirmed that the gov will have to do more work in the winter months to replace roundels and finish the tram lines, amongst other issues.

A statement said: ‘In order to help speed up completion, the DoI has taken parts of the project and is delivering these with other resources. The department remains committed to working proactively with Auldyn to provide as much support as possible during the final phases of the construction programme.

‘Following completion, Auldyn has a further four weeks to correct defective work, and the company is working alongside the rail corridor designer, Burroughs Stewart Associates, to prepare a proposal to correct the concrete defect before the end of this period.’

A Tynwald report in March said the scheme had ‘no definitive budget’ and continues to cause ‘severe disruption’ to businesses and residents.

Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker said: ‘Although I am extremely disappointed at this setback, the Department will continue to do all it can to assist Auldyn in this final push for the end. There have been a number of unforeseen challenges which must be acknowledged, including a difficulty relating to COVID restrictions in accessing labour resources from off-island.

‘A pragmatic and constructive dialogue continues with the company on finishing as soon as possible, but we will not allow the quality of the finished product to be compromised at this stage. I recognise the effort and commitment of all parties to get this project concluded, and appreciate that many people, particularly those involved in businesses, are looking forward to our community enjoying its newly-refurbished promenade.’

Even when this stage is finished, the scheme has been descoped to remove certain parts, the horse trams’ future remains uncertain and members of the public have made their feelings clear about the new roundels which, with an election looming and a new minister potentially riding into town, may be even less permanent than they look now.

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