Following the completion of the temporary works to allow for service diversions, the main works for the Northwich Road Roundabout in Knutsford, went on to be procured through our great efforts in the initial phase, along with extra drainage work and a further infrastructure scheme, by being collaborative, flexible and adaptable. The main works consisted of the completion of a partially constructed roundabout, connecting 4 roads, one being the controlled junction into the newly built Redrow housing estate.
Delays with restrictions on road space meant the client was left with a partially constructed roundabout and the ‘central’ part of the roundabout to was still left to be built, with the Southern and Northern/site entrance section formed but not fully complete. A complication had arisen with regard to two elements of diversion required, a cadent asset that required to be diverted to the North of the roundabout and BT diversions/lowering and box reconstruction to highway spec in the highway. There was a reluctance on the part of their initial contractor to allow any diversion works within TM they would be managing. This meant consecutive operations and consequently, the programme for completion had extended considerably and was looking for a means of completing the roundabout efficiently, with concurrent works where possible.
Constant delays and challenges were faced with the utilities including a 5-week delay due to a mains gas leak. Additional work was also added to the programme after discovering the main drainage was not installed as expected, incurring another 10 weeks to programme. The extra weeks added were able to be incorporated into the programme requiring no additional time or major cost increases to the client.
Amongst the major works, it was crucial to ensure access to Redrows site was upheld at all times as residents are now living on the housing estate. Further to this, building works were still ongoing, therefore artic lorries and wagons were still requiring access, and we could not delay any construction of the housing developments.
As Northwich Road is the main arterial route into Knutsford, it was the main priority to keep traffic flowing with permanent traffic management being put into place including temporary traffic lights. Regular blockages occurred, as the road is used as a cut-through if heavy traffic has built up on the motorway. It was imperative the lights were manually managed and adjusted accordingly to keep the traffic flowing.
Despite the numerous challenges faced through the life cycle of the scheme, the programme only overran by 2 days due to our flexibility and positive approach to analysing the problems faced and achieving a solution. From this, we bettered Redrows expectations by finishing 6 weeks earlier than the client anticipated as a consequence of the delays. However, we learned the importance of early contractor involvement when multiple parties are involved, which was lacking on this occasion due to the previous contractors initially starting the works.