Wolverhampton’s Civic Centre car park reopening after £2m revamp

The biggest car park in Wolverhampton is set to reopen on Thursday after being closed for almost six months for a £2 million revamp.

The council’s 40-year-old Civic Centre car park closed on March 14 for repairs and maintenance.

Once reopened, drivers will see wider spaces, a better layout and lighting, and improved pay points at the 395-space site.

Wolverhampton council spokesman, Tim Clark, said: “We’ve carried out a programme of essential repairs, maintenance and refurbishment to improve and prolong the life of this important city centre car park using local contractors.

“We timed the work to coincide with the closure of the neighbouring Civic and Wulfrun Halls and have aimed throughout to reopen the car park in time for the busy university graduation season in September.

“I’m pleased to say we are on schedule and the car park will reopen on Thursday.

“The public will notice a much-improved car park with wider spaces, a better layout, better lighting and modern ways to pay. We are very much looking forward to welcoming customers to the new-look car park.”

Repairs have taken place to address concrete erosion, while a a new fire safety sprinkler system was also being installed.

The work comes as the city undergoes a multi-million pound transformation with a number of development projects.

Last week, preparatory work started on the demolition of Heantun House and the Market Halls in Market Square as part of the multi-million pound Westside development plans.

The building has been vacant for months, following the relocation in April of the indoor market traders to purpose-built cabins.

Last month, the council named Urban & Civic as its preferred Westside developer to deliver a £55 million leisure-led mixed use scheme.

And the demolition of Heantun House is another element in making the 6.4 acre site ready for development.

Meanwhile, work is also progressing on the £35m transformation of the Mander Centre.

Work is taking place constructing a new flagship Debenhams.

The centre’s revamp is due to be completed in its entirety by autumn next year.

The revamp of the shopping centre is one of the most significant private-sector investments in the city over the last 20 years and will create up to 150 new jobs.

The project also includes building new customer lifts and a new entrance from the roof level of the centre’s car park.

The Mander Centre was built in 1968 and then extensively refurbished in 1987 and during 2003.

Source: http://www.highwaysindustry.com/wolverhamptons-civic-centre-car-park-reopening-after-2m-revamp/

Time lapse of A8 bridge demolition

A timelapse video of a bridge being demolished as part of the M8 completion project was published today by the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency.

Bo’ness Road Bridge at the Chapelhall junction, on the A8 east of Glasgow, was removed over two weekends in May.

Engineers worked round the clock on the project to take out the bridge over the dual carriageway because it is two narrow for the new M8.

The B799 between Chapelhall and Holytown will be diverted over a new bridge spanning both the A8 and M8.

The work is part of the £500 million upgrade of the M8, M73 and M74 outside Glasgow.

Further changes to contraflows and the closure of sliproads and junctions on the A8 start on Friday.

The A8 past the Shawhead junction will be reduced to one lane in each direction with a contraflow from Friday to Monday.

Sliproads on and off the westbound carriageway at Newhouse – where the A8 meets the M8 at junction six – will close for six months from Monday, 5 September.

New westbound sliproads at the Chapelhall junction will open on the same date.http://https://youtu.be/ekCbfYaWH5E

Graeme Reid, Transport Scotland’s project sponsor for the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, said: “We are now seeing extensive traffic management on the A8 to allow the construction of the new M8 and to link the new carriageways and junctions to the existing road network.

“Consequently, this will result in delays.

“Whilst we’re doing everything we can to minimise the disruption, changes to traffic management layouts will result in delays.”

Source: http://www.highwaysindustry.com/video-time-lapse-of-a8-bridge-demolition/

Sutton and East Surrey Water awards £87m infrastructure & resilience contract

Sutton and East Surrey Water has  awarded two AMP 6 infrastructure term service and resilience mains contracts worth an estimated £87.5 million in total.

The term service contract covers potable water pipeline construction, commissioning and associated service connections and water meters installation, together with repair and maintenance of the water distribution network.

The AMP6 framework resilience mains contract covers the construction and commissioning of strategic potable water pipelines.

Three firms were in the bidding for the  infrastructure term service contract, which has been awarded to Clancy Docwra Ltd, while J Murphy & Sons Ltd the resilience mains contract – again, three suppliers bid for the work.

Some work under both contracts is likely to be subcontracted.

M4 and M25 roadworks to be completed this week

Drivers will soon be able to make smoother journeys on motorways and A roads across the country as more than 170 miles of roadworks will be lifted or completed before the August bank holiday.

Highways England will remove the roadworks by 6am on Friday, August 26, so more lanes will be open and most speed restrictions will be lifted.

This means that over the bank holiday 97 per cent of England’s motorways and major A roads will have no roadworks on them.

Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England chief executive, said: “This August bank holiday, we’re helping drivers with their journeys by clearing roadworks across the majority of our motorways and major A-roads in England.

“Our traffic officers will also be on patrol and working with partners to help clear any incidents – the vast majority of which will be dealt with in under an hour.

“We’re asking people to be prepared too. Make sure you have everything you need for your journey should there be any delays, check before and during your journey and also make sure you’re aware of the signs and signals on motorways.”

Roadworks lifted or completed in the South East

Tunnel maintenance work on a one-mile stretch of the M4 near junction 5 (Slough) will be completed. While work to improve carriageways on the motorway between junctions 4B and 4A (Heathrow) will also be completed.

The improvement and upgrading work on a 3.5 mile stretch of the M4 near junction 4 (West Drayton) and work on the junction 4 westbound entry slip road will be finished.

On the M25 workmen will wrap up electrical work on both carriageways between junctions 15 and 16 (near West Drayton), while improvement work the M25 clockwise and anticlockwise roads which link to the M4 will be finished.

Horticulture work on a short stretch of the M25 at the junction 14 (Heathrow) will conclude, as will the project to erect signs between junctions 13 and 12 (near Staines).

Source:

Drivers will soon be able to make smoother journeys on motorways and A roads across the country as more than 170 miles of roadworks will be lifted or completed before the August bank holiday.

Highways England will remove the roadworks by 6am on Friday, August 26, so more lanes will be open and most speed restrictions will be lifted.

This means that over the bank holiday 97 per cent of England’s motorways and major A roads will have no roadworks on them.

Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England chief executive, said: “This August bank holiday, we’re helping drivers with their journeys by clearing roadworks across the majority of our motorways and major A-roads in England.

“Our traffic officers will also be on patrol and working with partners to help clear any incidents – the vast majority of which will be dealt with in under an hour.

“We’re asking people to be prepared too. Make sure you have everything you need for your journey should there be any delays, check before and during your journey and also make sure you’re aware of the signs and signals on motorways.”

Roadworks lifted or completed in the South East

Tunnel maintenance work on a one-mile stretch of the M4 near junction 5 (Slough) will be completed. While work to improve carriageways on the motorway between junctions 4B and 4A (Heathrow) will also be completed.

The improvement and upgrading work on a 3.5 mile stretch of the M4 near junction 4 (West Drayton) and work on the junction 4 westbound entry slip road will be finished.

On the M25 workmen will wrap up electrical work on both carriageways between junctions 15 and 16 (near West Drayton), while improvement work the M25 clockwise and anticlockwise roads which link to the M4 will be finished.

Horticulture work on a short stretch of the M25 at the junction 14 (Heathrow) will conclude, as will the project to erect signs between junctions 13 and 12 (near Staines).

Source:

Drivers will soon be able to make smoother journeys on motorways and A roads across the country as more than 170 miles of roadworks will be lifted or completed before the August bank holiday.

Highways England will remove the roadworks by 6am on Friday, August 26, so more lanes will be open and most speed restrictions will be lifted.

This means that over the bank holiday 97 per cent of England’s motorways and major A roads will have no roadworks on them.

Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England chief executive, said: “This August bank holiday, we’re helping drivers with their journeys by clearing roadworks across the majority of our motorways and major A-roads in England.

“Our traffic officers will also be on patrol and working with partners to help clear any incidents – the vast majority of which will be dealt with in under an hour.

“We’re asking people to be prepared too. Make sure you have everything you need for your journey should there be any delays, check before and during your journey and also make sure you’re aware of the signs and signals on motorways.”

Roadworks lifted or completed in the South East

Tunnel maintenance work on a one-mile stretch of the M4 near junction 5 (Slough) will be completed. While work to improve carriageways on the motorway between junctions 4B and 4A (Heathrow) will also be completed.

The improvement and upgrading work on a 3.5 mile stretch of the M4 near junction 4 (West Drayton) and work on the junction 4 westbound entry slip road will be finished.

On the M25 workmen will wrap up electrical work on both carriageways between junctions 15 and 16 (near West Drayton), while improvement work the M25 clockwise and anticlockwise roads which link to the M4 will be finished.

Horticulture work on a short stretch of the M25 at the junction 14 (Heathrow) will conclude, as will the project to erect signs between junctions 13 and 12 (near Staines).

Source: http://www.highwaysindustry.com/m4-and-m25-roadworks-to-be-completed-this-week/

Britain’s longest road tunnel could feature palm trees and fake clouds to keep drivers calm

Britain’s longest underground road tunnel could be populated with artificial palm trees, grassy verges and fake clouds to stop drivers suffering psychological problems, it has emerged.

A new study into plans for the 18-mile tunnel between Manchester and Sheffield revealed ministers are looking at unusual ways to stop drivers developing “claustrophobia, disorientation and tiredness”.

The government has named two existing tunnels – the Lærdal Tunnel in Norway and Zhongnanshan Tunnel in China – as sources of inspiration for tackling the problems.

Tunnel-2

The Norwegian tunnel, which takes 20 minutes to pass through, uses blue and yellow lighting to mimic a sunrise to keep drivers calm as they pass through a mountain range.

Local travel guides say the tunnel’s “romantic ambiance” has seen some people even getting married in the cavernous spaces off the main road or host “gals’ night out” parties.

The Chinese tunnel, which drops to more than 1,500 meters below ground, has fake clouds projected on to the roof and artificial palm trees and shrubs by the side of the road to relax drivers.

The government’s strategic study into the Trans-Pennine road tunnel, said to be the most ambitious road project since the creation of motorways 50 years ago, carried pictures of both examples.

Tunnel-1

It also quoted research which found that “proper use of cavern spaces is one of the most effective ways to relieve travellers’ fears and that the colours, lighting and patterns used in the [Lærdal] tunnel help to mitigate the effects of claustrophobia, disorientation and tiredness”.

A different study released last year into the Trans-Pennine tunnel, which will become one of the longest in the world, found that there was a risk it will create “psychological difficulties” for drivers.

It warned that the “practical and psychological difficulties of driving in a long tunnel environment should not be underestimated”, citing limited visibility and poor air quality.

Ministers are now expected to commission research into driver behaviour in long tunnels to ensure everything possible is done to mitigate any difficulties.

John Hayes, the transport minister, said: “I want people in the north of England to benefit from quicker, more reliable journeys.

“Today’s study brings us a step closer to building a Trans-Pennine road tunnel – it would be the most ambitious project since the construction of the first motorways 50 years ago.”

 

Yorkshire Water awards £5m AMP6 actuator contract

Yorkshire Water has awarded an AMP6 contract for supply and support services for actuators worth an estimated £5 million.

The contract covers the supply of new actuators including associated components and equipment such as mounting kits for valves, including installation and commissioning services. It also covers the provision of support services including repairs, maintenance and replacement of actuators and associated equipment.

Rotork UK Ltd and Auma Actuators Ltd have both won places on the framework, two of three companies who bid for the work.

Liverpool’s roads to be transformed in £45m shake-up

Liverpool city centre is set to undergo a “radical” £45 million transformation of its roads as part of council plans to make it more attractive to visitors.

Major new schemes include extending St George’s Plateau into Lime Street to create a “world class gateway experience” for those arriving by train and slashing The Strand from eight lanes down to a four lane tree lined highway.

The local authority says the Liverpool City Centre Connectivity Scheme (LCCC) aims to “transform how people move around Liverpool city centre – by foot, bike, car, coach and bus”.

The plans will also see changes to Queens Square and Paradise Street ( Liverpool One ) bus stations and the creation of the city’s first dedicated coach park.

And there will even be new bridges across Canning Dock.

Source: http://www.highwaysindustry.com/liverpools-roads-to-be-transformed-in-45m-shake-up/

Commuters enjoy cut in journey times after £3.4m Cowgate junction scheme

Commuters have saved around seven minutes a day in travel time thanks to a £3.4m roadwork scheme.

Journey times through Cowgate junction have been slashed since the long-awaited improvements to the junction were completed earlier this year.

During peak morning periods, journey times from the A1 to Stamfordham Road have dropped to 175 seconds, saving drivers three minutes 45 seconds. And drivers are saving just under three minutes from the A1 to Cowgate through Ponteland Road.

Coun Ged Bell, Cabinet member for investment and development said the former roundabout had been an accident blackspot.

“When we initially consulted with the public, there was some resistance to replacing the old roundabout into a new junction operated by lights, but we knew the old roundabout wasn’t coping with the high levels of demand placed on it, as well as the potential for housing growth in this area of the city,” he said.

“We knew that we could make this junction better and more reliable by introducing intelligent traffic signals to manage traffic flow, and the stats prove this.”

Cowgate junction is used by 60,000 motorists daily, as well as being a major route for public transport – with almost 70 buses passing through the junction every hour during the day.

The scheme was completed at Easter after months of delays as the council avoided disruption during the busy festive period.

The old roundabout basin was filled with around 2,000 polystyrene blocks to make way for the new road layout and “intelligent” traffic lights, which will continue to improve journey times were installed.

Coun Bell added: “We’ve had a good response from the public on the improvements, as wasting time stuck in traffic isn’t good for business, for people, or for the environment.

“We now need to connect the junctions in the key corridor which runs across the city from Cowgate to Gosforth in the north of the city, which includes problem junctions Haddricks Mill and Blue House roundabouts, which we’re currently out to consultation on.”

The improvements to Cowgate junction were part of the council’s Re-newcastle £60m of investment into the city’s highways and infrastructure.

Source:http://www.highwaysindustry.com/video-commuters-enjoy-cut-in-journey-times-after-3-4m-cowgate-junction-scheme/

Transport for Buckinghamshire trialling new Info Video format

Last week Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) released an info video on the ins and outs of pothole repair. TfB has done videos before, and has a YouTube channel, but this new format was designed to be accessible to all users while delivering a brief, but informative, answer to a frequently asked question. In an effort to share information in a relatable way, the content was designed to be jargon-free and comprehensive, as well as friendly to audiences of all levels. The info video includes images and interactive links to allow the audience to find out more if they wish, and on-screen captions are accompanied by corresponding voiceovers recorded by Buckinghamshire’s cabinet member for transportation, Mark Shaw.

Councillor Shaw was keen to get involved in creating the info video:

“I loved the idea of trying to reach residents in a new format, to keep them engaged with our messages and try and manage expectations about what is possible at Transport for Buckinghamshire within budget. This is a question which is asked really frequently, and we know it frustrates a lot of people. I’m a big fan of speaking plain English, and trying to get information to Buckinghamshire’s residents in a way that everyone can understand, so I was more than happy to hop into the recording booth to lend a hand!”

The info video was also a good opportunity to remind everyone of the reasons to feel positive about the county’s 3,000km of carriageways, and celebrate again the Department for Transport’s 2016 pothole fund, which awarded Buckinghamshire an extra £545,000 to repair defects in the roads this year. What’s more, TfB is keen to champion its supply chain partner Velocity, which offers value for money on repairs with a 12 month guarantee.

The info video was free to make, and reached over 1,500 people in its first few days when embedded to Facebook and shared on Twitter. If the format proves successful in terms of reaching people and effectively sharing information, it may become a standard part of TfB’s communications approach.

VolkerFitzpatrick bags £35m Ely southern bypass

VolkerFitzpatrick has won the job to design and build the Ely southern bypass project for Cambridgeshire County Council.

The project was first estimated at around £31m two years ago but has now risen to an expected £35m.

Volker will deliver a 1.7km long single carriageway road that includes a 500m-long viaduct crossing of the river Great Ouse and a separate bridge over a railway line.

The new route leaves the A142 Stuntney Causeway to the south-east of Ely, before re-joining the existing A142 at a new roundabout on Angel Drove.

Detailed design work on the two-year contract will now get underway to start on site at the beginning of 2017.

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 10.26.22

As part of the new road bridge over the River Great Ouse there will be a walkway attached to the bridge that will face towards Ely. The walkway will link the Fen Rivers Way and Ouse Valley Way footpaths together, providing a new circular walking route for residents and visitors to Ely.

It will also improve access to the River Great Ouse Country Wildlife Site and give new views of Ely and its surrounding landscape.

Tony Gee is the structural consultant and Trevor Waude & Co the QS on the job.

Sourse : http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/08/08/volker-fitzpatrick-bags-35m-ely-southern-bypass/