Daracon appointed for South Newcastle project at a cost

The upgrade of the Bathers Way at South Newcastle Beach is expected to double in cost and time to complete.

Newcastle Council has officially appointed Daracon to take over the project, after Lloyd Group went into voluntary administration earlier this year, leaving it in limbo.

Daracon took over as the interim contractor following the collapse of Lloyd Group taking stock of what had been completed and what needed to be done.

Executive Manager Project Management Office Robert Dudgeon said it was frustrating and disappointing to see the impact of the Lloyd Group on their projects.

“We’ve seen the tale of two projects on our coastline, with Newcastle Ocean Baths’ upgrade delivered by local company Daracon running on time and on budget, while just 500 metres away down the beach the Lloyd Group was well behind schedule.

“Daracon was ranked second when the tender for this stage of Bathers Way was awarded in 2020. The Lloyd Group was selected primarily on the price competitiveness of their bid.”

Daracon has brought on additional staff to ensure both the Bathers Way upgrade and Newcastle Ocean Baths project are resourced appropriately and delivered successfully, with the Baths on track to re-open for swimming in Summer while South Newcastle is planned for completion in May.

The Bathers Way, South Newcastle Beach upgrade features a shared path from Shortland Esplanade to King Edward Park, improvements to parking, landscaping, lighting and accessibility, the installation of fitness equipment, shade, seating and viewing areas, as well as a new café/kiosk and accessible amenities. The project also includes a $1.6 million upgrade to the skate park.

While the departure of Lloyd Group and escalating labour and material costs have unavoidably impacted the overall budget and timing of this project, Robert Dudgeon said Council was committed to completing this upgrade as quickly and efficiently.

“The estimated cost for Daracon to complete the project is just under $11.5 million, which reflects the increased cost of labour and materials experienced nationwide since Lloyd Group commenced on site in 2020, and follows the work Daracon have already delivered to address defective works left by Lloyd Group,” Robert Dudgeon said.

“We know that the community are keen to see this project completed, as are we, and with Daracon already established on site, we look forward to seeing it progress as quickly as possible, with expectations of the lower promenade being re-opened prior to Christmas and the rest of the project to follow by May next year.”

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