St Mary's Way in Stockport serves as a key route to divert traffic away from the highly congested Stockport town centre, integral to the long-term master plan for traffic improvement. Funding secured through the Town Centre Access Plan (TCAP) allowed for widening the road with extra lanes and a cycleway. This expansion required the construction of retaining walls and the replacement of the existing 30m footbridge with a new 48m wide bridge.
The footbridge needed to be procured under a design and build contract, however the existing framework did not provide for this mechanism. Therefore, a collaborative approach between the Client (SMBC), the Designer (Wildes) and the Contractor (George Cox & Sons) was required to facilitate the successful delivery of this sensitive and critical contract.
To offset the long lead times for the manufacture of the new bridge, Stockport Council procurement team ordered this component direct, as the order needed to be placed whilst contract negotiation and designs were being finalised. Detailed planning was also essential as the retaining wall and bridge contracts had to dove tail with each over, as the bridge had to be constructed in the through the Retained wall. Resulting in the Wall being constructed in 3 parts. The 1st two sections either side of the Bridge, and then returning upon completion of the bridge to “infill the section “.
We used ECI with our own supply chain, selecting a piling contractor at an early stage so they could assist with designing the 15m deep piling system. This allowed us to plan for the silent method of pressure driven piles as opposed to hammer or vibration driving. This eliminated noise and greatly reduced the risk of claims for damage to nearby properties - some houses were less than eight metres away from the piling installation.
A community meeting was held at a local primary school and residents / businesses were invited to attend via a letter drop. At the meeting we held a joint presentation with Stockport MBC. SMBC presented the reasoning and longer terms benefits. We presented the sequence and methodology of the construction process, how the works would affect them and the measures we would use to avoid disruption and nuisance. We maintained continual dialogue with SMBC’s Street works Team and attended their monthly meetings. This allowed key dates to be amended to produce the minimum overall disruption to the city’s traffic.
The collaborative approached allowed the client to overcome many obstacles the Contract framework presented. The positive approach of the entire delivery team brought saving in time, and cost whilst minimising the disruption. The approach minimised the risks of potential costs if engaging contractors outside the Framework and allowed for the co-ordination across a wide number of client departments, Council officials other framework partners. This approach also facilitated the Clients need for a spend profile in line with their budgetary constraints.
New Footbridge Installation