Big Ben Renovation Costs Double to US$81.7 Million

Sergio Conner
October 1, 2017

Fix costs for the Elizabeth Tower in the Palace of Westminster have doubled to an estimated £61 million.

Parliamentary authorities revealed on Friday that work to the tower, housed in the Palace of Westminster, had soared in price from £29 million.

The cost of repairing Big Ben, the iconic clock tower of Britain's Parliament, doubled after a detailed analysis by surveyors.

'The Commissions expressed their disappointment in the cost increases, and the unreliability of the original estimate'.

The last extensive conservation works took place more than 30 years ago.

The commissions announced that construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, which already had the contract to put up the scaffolding, would carry out the works.

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The Big Ben bell, whose famous bongs have rung out across London since 1859, fell silent in August as scaffolding began going up the side of the 96-meter tower.

Officials said that although the work has not been delayed, it is harder than initially thought.

In a joint statement, the clerk of the House of Commons, the clerk of the Parliaments and the director general said: "We acknowledge that there have been estimating failures and we understand the concern of the Commissions".

The clock tower - also commonly called Big Ben, but formally named the Elizabeth Tower after Queen Elizabeth II - is one of London's most-visited buildings.

However, the total cost of the project to fix the Elizabeth tower - including fire safety work costs - is now an estimated £61m.

"Of course we want to ensure that people are safe at work, but it can't be right for Big Ben to be silent for four years", she said to reporters.

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