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Four pilot road schemes to demonstrate new speedy construction

Off-site construction, 24 hour working and greater overlapping of design and construction is to be used to cut the time it takes to deliver road schemes by up to a half, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced.

Four schemes have been identified to trial the new ways of working that will see Managed Motorways projects delivered in the half the time it normally takes and more complex projects delivered up to 25% quicker.

Three of the schemes are being brought forward to this spending review period and will complete by 2015. They are Managed Motorways schemes on the M3 between Junctions 2 and 4a, the M6 J10a to 13 and M1 J28 to 31 in Derbyshire.

Vital improvements to A160/A180 route to the Port of Immingham will also start construction sooner than originally planned in the summer of 2015 and completed autumn 2016 - cutting 18 months off the original construction timetable.

The annoucement follows prime minister David Cameron speech to business leaders yesterday when he pledged to cut the time it takes to deliver projects by cutting red tape and instilling urgency into government departments.

McLoughlin said that the Department for Transport and the Highways Agency has looked hard at how to speed up the decision making process and the time it takes to have roads ready for use by motorists.

He said it is estimated that 1km of Managed Motorway, where the hard shoulder is used as an extra lane with variable speed limits introduced, can be built every two weeks, instead of every four.

It is expected more complex, traditional capacity improvements on non motorway routes, such as the A160/A180 Immingham improvements, will be delivered up to 25% quicker a quarter more quickly.

The projects - and how they are being sped up

M3 J2 to 4a managed motorway

Work on this 21km scheme, which was added to the roads programme last autumn, is expected to start 2013/14 and be completed by spring 2015 rather than during 2016. The start of work is subject to the completion of necessary statutory processes.

The latest cost-range estimate for the project is £159M to £223M.

Extra capacity will come through converting the hard shoulder to a traffic lane – with variable speed limits helping to reduce congestion and smooth traffic flows.

M6 J10a to 13 managed motorway

Work on this 15km scheme, which was added to the roads programme last autumn is expected to start 2013/14 instead of 2014/15 and be completed by spring 2015 instead of during the next financial year – 2015/16. The start of work is subject to the completion of necessary statutory processes.

The latest cost-range estimate for the project is £140M to £201M.

Extra capacity will come through converting the hard shoulder to a traffic lane – with variable speed limits helping to reduce congestion and smooth traffic flows.

M1 J28 to 31 managed motorway

Work on this 30km scheme, is expected to start 2013/14 and be completed by spring 2015 instead of during the next financial year – 2015/16. The start of work is subject to the completion of necessary statutory processes.

Extra capacity will come through converting the hard shoulder to a traffic lane – with variable speed limits helping to reduce congestion and smooth traffic flows.

Immingham A160 and A180

Work on this scheme is expected to start in summer 2015 instead of during 2016 and complete by autumn 2016 instead of during 2018 - this is subject to the successful completion of statutory processes, and the construction budget being agreed (for the next spending review period).

Out of an original five-and-a-half year programme, the ambition is to cut 18 months off the completion date.

The latest cost-range estimate for the project is £89M to £132M.

It is proposed to improve the A160/A180 by upgrading it to a dual carriageway and improve access to the Port of Immingham. The A160 is approximately 5km long and has sections of both single carriageway and dual carriageway.

All schemes will be sped up by:

  • undertaking concurrent planning, design and construction preparation activities
  • taking more work off-site and bringing to site as pre-fabricated/pre-assembled units
  • moving toward a 24 hour operation with more people on site working on multiple faces at once

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • Sounds a bit like the approach we took on the Crawley, Horley, Gatwick Fastway bus rapid transit project. Where we went from acceptance to completion in 7 years, delivered in 3 phases. Where the design of the next phase ran in parallel with the deliver of the preceding phase. This included the statutory procedures.

    I see the estimate has a wide rang, which is realistic at this stage. It is only once you get into the detail that the estimate spread will be reduced.

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