Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Costain trials precast manholes on Welsh bypass

Contractor Costain has committed to using a precast manhole system on future projects after trialling it to success on a £90M Welsh bypass project.

While the near completed bypass for Church Village in Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales, is bringing relief to the communities along the previously congested A473, the first use of a precast manhole system is also making life easier for design and build contractor Costain.

The contractor trialled more than 150 of Kijlstra’s square precast concrete manholes on the three-year, £90M project – the largest highways project undertaken by any local authority in the UK – and will now use them on every suitable future project.

The new bypass was procured by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and was funded by means of a Transport Grant from the Welsh Assembly Government.

“Our aim is to use Kijlstra products on forthcoming projects where the full benefits of the system can be realised.”

John Lee, Costain

It runs through the basin of a valley, with a significant part intersecting wetlands and marsh area so the geography of the area made the drainage works a very significant part of the construction. The Kijlstra manholes are located in various locations throughout the site

The project’s roadworks manager John Lee said: “This project has presented challenging conditions but the many benefits of using the Kijlstra system meant we were able to counter these challenges throughout.

“As a company, Costain is always looking to innovate to improve delivery to our clients and the Kijlstra system has helped us to achieve this delivery. Our aim is to use Kijlstra products on forthcoming projects where the full benefits of the system can be realised.”

The project’s drainage quantity surveyor Joshua Edwards said: “The system reduces volume of construction and helps drive down waste which makes our operations more efficient, leading to potential cost savings and improvements to the programme of delivery.”

The Kijlstra system can typically be installed up to 16 times quicker than traditional systems on standard units. At Church Village, it took from as little as an hour for each system to be excavated, supported, bed prepped, transported to the precise location, installed and backfilled.

Manufactured from self-compacting concrete and poured monolithically with benching to guarantee optimum size consistency and strength, the system gives a 120-year design life.

Once on site, the Kijlstra standard square manhole can be typically installed by just two men and an excavator in 30 minutes compared to the one to two days it takes on average to install traditional round manholes.

This off-site ability means the Kijlstra system requires less men, materials and plant to start with and takes less time, and therefore money, to install.

In addition, because the manufacturing process ensures the square manholes are just as strong and robust as their predecessors, they do not need reinforcing or shuttering, saving more time and minimising Health and Safety issues.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.