We were invited by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) along with Wilde Consulting Engineers to provide design and construction capabilities as part of their £80m Town Centre Access Programme bid submitted in March 2015.
The successful bid resulted in an almost immediate start on site; regardless full construction designs were not complete. Close working between our construction and commercial teams, Wilde design team and SMBC allowed works to start in May 2015 as a tight deadline called for the completion of the first 2 junctions and a 250m section of carriageway widening by October 2015.
Full construction designs and costs were developed as the scheme progressed incorporating numerous service diversions in the process. Fortnightly design and coordination meetings chaired by our site team ensured costs & programme remained on track.
Phase 1 works included:
- Creation of a new roundabout junction at Port Street/Leyland Street/Great Edgerton Street junction.
- A new traffic signal junction at Great Edgerton Street/Little Edgerton Street junction.
- New car park access from Leyland Street with access from the A6 and Great Edgerton Street but exit only towards Great Edgerton Street.
- The upgrade the of existing puffin crossing on Great Edgerton Street to a Toucan (pedestrian and cyclist) crossing.
- Additional pedestrian crossing facilities were provided across the A6 at Leyland Street and at the Great Edgerton Street/Little Edgerton Street junction.
Phase 2 of the Bridgefield Street project called for high-specification natural stone paving, within a restricted town centre location along with the installation of CCTV, bespoke lighting & street furniture. The aim of the multi-million project was to rejuvenate the street scene of the town centre.
Due to the works being located on a busy high street surrounded by various businesses it was decided prior to starting that consultation with the business owners was paramount to the programme running smoothly. An empty unit in the town centre was rented to use as a hub where business owners and the general public could come in and meet representatives from George Cox, SMBC and Wilde’s to discuss the project. This proved to be extremely useful as the local community was able to meet various representatives in person and could discuss and help solve issues which may arise.
To minimise disruption to businesses and the general public the works to the main shopping area of the town centre were spilt into 8 phases with each phase having its own bespoke traffic management plan. Access to all businesses was maintained throughout the project and was achieved by providing safe walkways through the working areas and carrying out work to the shop entrances outside of normal trading hours.
The carriageway and footway construction consisted of superior quality sandstone and granite paving to various designs, each needing to be laid to specific patterns as instructed by the client. The street scene involved soft landscaping works to be carried out which included, the construction of raised grass areas, installation of tree pits with galvanised support frames for protection and raised wooden flowerpots.
To enhance the exterior façade of the existing buildings along Bridgefield Street, facing the new Red Rock Complex, SMBC approached us to design bespoke facades that would work with the existing structures and enhance the buildings’ aspect. We managed a series of workshops to establish the requirements across 30 different buildings, with different ownerships and aspirations. This involved meeting the planning authority, building control, and a wide variety of material suppliers to agree on the correct mixture of cladding systems, rendering types and colours and a green wall to complement this street scene.
We detailed buildability issues plus design and construction specifications with the assistance of SMBC structures. Many samples were reviewed until an agreement could be reached across the project team. A number of re-designs were required as a result of site conditions, access constraints and the need to accommodate third-party programming constraints.
Close collaboration with SMBC and their stakeholders during this project has been vital to its success. The façade improvement works were coordinated ahead of the highway works to ensure there was no delay to the opening of Zizzi, Pizza Express and The Light Cinema.
Town Centre Access Plan