As part of an ongoing regeneration of Blackpool town centre, Blackpool Council acquired funding to upgrade major routes into the town centre (Blackpool Quality Corridor). With over 8 million tourists visiting the town last year, Blackpool hope to further develop their main industry of tourism and increase their annual influx of visitors.
Due to an increase in demand for parking space, we were required to reconstruct old pavements into new parking bays for residents and tourists. Pathways were also reconstructed with high quality finished concrete flag paving in efforts to aesthetically improve Blackpool’s streets. Furthermore, we were required to resurface the carriageways with red chipped Hot Rolled asphalt whilst also upgrading 4 signalised junctions to completely enhance the quality of the roads. Additional work was secured post-tender involving the installation of 170 bollards to protect pavements from overrun parking, and towards effort in ‘greening the streetscape’, 10 tree pits were constructed in the footways with trees suited to survive the salt laden winds in Blackpool.
With Blackpool being a busy tourist area, management of pedestrian traffic was essential during the works. By carrying out phases of work in small sections at a time, obstruction to pavements was lessened. Where necessary, we designated part of the road and isolated it with pedestrian barriers as an alternative walkway around ongoing work to avoid complete closures of pavements and to uphold the flow of foot traffic. For the affected businesses, the same bituminous material used for the subbase of the pavement was utilised along with ramping up to entrances as a temporary footpath to ensure accessibility for customers. When completing these works, we negotiated a time with owners that would best suit their needs by adapting work to fit outside trade hours whilst also agreeing on an alternative access point for pedestrians to maintain a walkway.
As a solution to maximise accessibility whilst also reducing dust and minor air pollution, we proposed an alteration to the pathway design initially consisting of a granular subbase with flags laid on sand bed. By omitting the granular subbase and replacing it with bituminous materials, the amount of dust produced was reduced and pathways were suitable to walk on immediately, which enabled us to open pavements to the public sooner than anticipated. Despite materials being more expensive, we offered the adjusted pathway as a cost neutral option by adapting our work and through redesign of the pavement.
Upon discovering the poor state of the existing drainage system, we worked with Blackpool to develop alternative solutions and adapt the design to produce a more buildable structure. Working flexibly on site we adapted the design by using spot drainage as an alternative to kerb drains. An additional problem found was a number of pre-existing downspouts omitting water onto the pavement. To resolve the problem a new drainage system was implemented that drained the water as it was omitted, in order to prevent hazardous frozen/slippery surfaces in winter.
We worked flexibly to meet the requirements of the project despite external influences. We delivered to programme without exceeding the intended budget by adapting the ways we worked. Despite providing higher quality materials in our alternative sub-base design, we provided a cost neutral outcome for Blackpool Council.