26 Weeks

As part of a multimillion-pound scheme for a new shopping centre cinema complex for Warrington town centre, we were employed to carry out section 278 works on Academy Way and Bridge Street. This included upgrading the carriageways around the new development, installation of new drainage connections, new kerbing and a super crossing located on Academy Way, along with a central reservation of newly planted trees and shrubs. We re-kerbed and repaved Bridge Street with high specification granite paving and resurfaced the carriageway to regenerate the surroundings, so that they were in keeping with the new shopping centre development.

From the pre-tender meetings with the Client, it was understood that the prerequisite was to maintain access to the site for the main contractor at all times. This challenge meant we had to find the balance between accommodating the main contractor and sticking to our own programme. As delivery access was to be maintained within this severely restrictive site, we opted for a methodology of smaller phases and used smaller machinery. For example, the manhole works required were straightforward from an engineering point of view but a logistical inconvenience for the main contractor due to being located at the entrance of the shopping centre. We adopted an obliging nature in our approach to the works as we understood the Client had their targets to meet as well as our own.

A full road closure for Academy Way was already in place under the main contractor with bus routes appropriately diverted, thus we carried out works in a site isolated from the public. Despite this, we did have to take into consideration points of entry for the main contractor and their deliveries, which was to be accessed through our site. Our Site Manager held daily briefings in which a full delivery schedule was provided, so we could adapt our phases of work around their needs. For Bridge Street, we implemented a full traffic management plan where pedestrian traffic was accommodated and access to shops and takeaways was upheld. The paving works on Bridge Street were located within the busy environment of shops and takeaways which were active at night. Working hours were scheduled around their opening times to minimise disruption to business and materials where only delivered to the working area when needed to maximise space for customer footfall.

As Academy Way was an existing carriageway with electric, gas and fibre optics running the whole length of the street, we understood that extra precaution was necessary when excavating. To overcome these obstacles, we carried out GPR surveys and hired specialists to compose a marked-up plan of services as well as sprayed markings on the surface to provide double security.

When working in a bustling town centre environment, our team always look for the best solution to reduce noise pollution and minimise the impact on the public. For our drainage work on Academy Way, we opted to use a planer as opposed to breakers, as a quieter, more efficient alternative. This allowed us to dig a trench the entire length of Academy Way in one day rather than a week and significantly reduced the noise pollution to the surroundings.

With such a large-scale scheme as Academy Way, we looked beyond meeting our own targets and time limits and understood that the Client had their own deadlines to achieve. By taking a look at the bigger picture, we opted to approach work with an obliging nature and understood the agreed sequence of phasing and pricings could later change. We worked in and around the meet the clients programme and adapted our works around the main contractor, coming on and off site at their demand. The Client was impressed by our consideration and ability to work flexibly so that they could hit their targets.

We took on additional work that was to be delivered in the same programme period, thus we worked out of hours and double shifted to successfully deliver the scheme on budget and on time. The Client was impressed with the quality of our work but more so our obliging nature throughout the duration of the scheme. They were pleased that we appreciated their challenges and understood they had their own targets to hit, and so we worked flexibly around their needs.

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