Council collects awards for two challenging road schemes
Cheshire East Council has collected two awards for road schemes it has carried out.
One award was for the safety barrier work on the notoriously steep and winding A54 Congleton-to-Buxton road in the Peak District National Park – the second for the Crewe Green Roundabout.
The regional awards were presented by the Chartered Institute for Highways and Transportation (CIHT) at a ceremony in Warrington.
The council received the CIHT’s ‘environmental award’ for the A54 project – the installation of 230 metres of barrier replacement. A highly technical programme, the scheme involved specialist engineering skills and materials, working in a conservation area and in a site of specific scientific interest (SSSI).
The project team had to reject traditional replacement techniques in favour of an innovative use of specialist concrete materials to boost public safety and deliver 120-year durability.
The 16-week project was carried out by the council in partnership with Harry Fairclough Construction. Engineers had to operate in particularly testing terrain along one of the highest routes in the country, working 12 hours each day for seven days per week. They slept on site in pods to save on travelling time.
The award recognised the environmental qualities of the entire scheme, which saw 40 cubic metres of dry-stone re-used, further recycling of old materials and a design that minimised future maintenance and disruption. The team even created special ‘lizard houses’ for the protection of wildlife.
The work began at the beginning of August and completed on time in November, avoiding the onset of winter and the nesting season.
The council shared the ‘best practice’ award with its contractors Balfour Beatty and Jacobs for the community engagement and communications work associated with the Crewe Green Roundabout scheme.
This award recognised the many positive aspects of the £7m infrastructure project, including the removal of a major highways pinch-point, and its role in unlocking capacity for planned development in the future.
A project engagement plan was implemented to deliver an outreach programme, working with local schools to promote careers in highways and construction. Newsletters and social media kept local people informed, together with aerial photography illustrating progress on the site.
The completed scheme was well received locally and at the opening of the new oval-shaped roundabout last November, school children planted shrubs to make their own contribution to its ecological features.
It was part-funded with a £3.3m grant through the Local Growth Fund from the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership.
Frank Jordan, Cheshire East Council executive director of place, said: “I congratulate the council’s project teams, the contractors and our partners for the highly professional manner in which they have delivered two very important road schemes for the borough.
“The council is delivering on its promises to improve connectivity across the borough, have the right infrastructure in place for HS2 and a road network that supports a growing economy.
“These awards represent regional recognition from the experts in the industry and show that Cheshire East Council is doing an excellent job in building a road network for the future.”
View a time-lapse video of the A54 road scheme below: