We were originally awarded the contract to upgrade the footpath/cycleways around Barnard Street, New Cut Lane and Bennetts recreation ground. These works consisted of upgrading the existing deteriorated 1.5m path into a new 3m wide tarmacadam footpath/cycleway, with each location having different problems to overcome.
Prior to the construction on Bennetts’s recreation ground, we proposed a new design that would prevent the new footpath from flooding. As existing area was in a hollow which regularly collected water, we suggested using large limestone to lift the footpath.
Our main challenges stemmed from logistical complications as access was limited due to the long narrow sites in isolated areas. Materials were stored in a compound approximately 300m away and getting them to and from the sites had to be carefully coordinated. Excellent organisation and forward planning were required to maximise production.
We faced an unexpected challenge in March 2020 as we were hit with the Coronavirus Pandemic and had to immediately stop work while safety systems and procedures could be put in place. We ensured the site was left safe and secure by fencing off the works (which was checked weekly by a member of staff).
As the works were along public right of ways, our main concern was pedestrian management. Therefore, we had a full time TSO present to assist pedestrians and ensure that access via the diversion routes was clear and maintained. Providing alternative routes proved to be especially challenging on Barnard Street, and so we had to divide our site using heras fencing and personally monitor the flow of pedestrians. By restricting our site and working in a flexible manner we were able to maintain progression and maximise access for the public.
To reduce our environmental impact and cut waggon movements, we maintained as much material on site as possible, by regrading the excavated soil around the footpath. Recycled subbase was also used throughout.
Following the success of these schemes we were awarded some additional footpath schemes which included:
- New Cut Lane Phase 2 and 3 - These two footpaths were a continuation of New Cut Lane phase 1, but their locations were adjacent to an existing watercourse banking that was eroding and falling away from the existing footpath edges. Due to the ground conditions, concrete edgings with a concrete bed were not an option as they would have just eroded again and fallen into the watercourse. Therefore, we suggested that a timber edging be used, and fixed to 1.5m long timber pegs that would be piled into the ground 1.5m deep to retain the new tarmacadam footpath/cycleway.
- Blackbear Park - This 3m wide footpath was again constructed in unmade ground to provide a new public footpath/cycleway. Access was restricted with only one entrance, all materials having to be brought in from one end of the new footpath and transported to the other end by dumper. Construction consisted of concrete edgings to retain both sides of the new footpath, with tarmacadam infill.