This scheme was the first to be completed as part of Stockport’s Mayors Challenge Fund (MCF). We were brought in by Stockport Council to help them develop outline designs, provide costings, and assist them in securing funding for their first MCF scheme. Phase 1 consisted of upgrading the existing 300m footpath with 1-2m width to a 3m wide cycle and walkway with bespoke lighting and a rubberised permeable surface.
Following the completion of phase 1, works on phase 2 started to similarly upgrade a longer footpath of 840m, providing a key link between the A6 and the border of central Manchester. We are currently in the design stages for Phase 3, which is a continuation of phase 1 involving the construction of a new footbridge over a brook running through the park.
As we were sited along stretches of busy footpaths in a residential area, our main challenges were centred around maintaining public access. For phase 1, it was initially agreed that the existing footpath was to be closed, however due to a change in requirements, we had to adapt our programme whilst on site so that the route was left open. Our site team reacted quickly to the last-minute change and stoned up the wetter grounds that ran next to the original path to provide a solid, alternative route for pedestrians and cyclists to use.
Phase 2 consisted of an 840m footpath that had several other intersecting pathways that needed to be kept open to the public. This required careful management of pedestrian traffic which was already difficult to monitor due to the length of the site. We opted for a gated system that, when closed, separated our site into sections and created intersecting pathways running across it. Appropriate diversion routes that were suitable for both pedestrians and cyclists were put in place, these included cycle friendly diversions that avoided stairs as well as more direct shorter pathways for pedestrians. Our team were attentive in helping the public first-hand, directing them safely around the site and politely answering any queries they had of the works.
We liaised closely with the local Conservation Group to ensure we protected the surrounding fauna and wetlands, preserving all nearby trees and working around the natural vegetation. Utilising Terram as a seal designed to prevent contamination to nearby water sources, brooks, and streams. No excavated material was taken off site and was regraded into the ground to reduce wagon movements. We also used recycled type 3 stone from the local eco centre for the new footpaths.
Drawing from our expertise we came up with innovative value engineering solutions, this included cost savings by suggesting building up on the existing footpath, as well as changing the levels during Phase 1 to reduce the necessary drainage works. Costs were further reduced by altering the drainage design so that water flowed directly into the natural watercourse, this removed the need to connect into the existing drainage. Where the site met the watercourse, we had concerns that the original gabion design would sink into the embankment over time. The Client listened to our advice and allowed us to construct a meshed concrete base to add more stability, saving them trouble further down the line.
The Client has received positive feedback from the public recognising our helpful manner on site and our efforts to minimise disruption.