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A5 Weeford to Fazeley improvements

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The A5 Weeford - Fazeley improvement scheme involved the design and construction of 5km of new two-lane dual carriageway between the A5/A38 Junction at Weeford Island and Fazeley. 

A5 Weeford to Fazeley improvements

The new road has replaced the last remaining single carriageway stretch of the A5 between the M42 and A38, which had poor alignment, substandard accesses and junctions. A section of the new road passes through a deep cutting in Hints Hill to the North of Hints village.

The scheme also grade-separated Weeford Island, linking up the A38 beneath the existing roundabout, with resulting reduced congestion, improved journey time reliability and safety.

Major cut and fill earthworks were required with in excess of one million cubic metres of material being excavated, the majority of which was retained on site in embankments and noise bund/screening areas.

High-strength geosynthetics were placed beneath a section of the realigned A5 at Hints Hill. A woven polyester reinforcement was used to span the fissured and fractured bedrock to achieve the design life of the road, limiting reflective settlement of the road surface.

The equipment

Paraslim, Kwikstage Shoring and Ultraguard equipment from our formwork and falsework specialist business, RMD Kwikform, was utilised. Paraslim was supplied to construct the concrete parapets to the structure on the main A5/A38 junction. Modules of Paraslim were prefabricated on the ground before being crane handled into position, enhancing safety by reducing work at height and reducing cost by shortening construction programme.

Easy and quick to assemble, Kwikstage Shoring and scaffolding was used to safely support temporary structures. Its flexibility eliminated the effect of uneven ground, whilst avoiding unmovable obstructions to give users a varied platform.

The unique Z profiled interlocking barrier system, Ultraguard used is capable of providing quick, easy and safe edge protection in every instance at the slab edge and is fully compatible with all scaffold and shoring systems.

Achievements

  • Considerate Contractors Scheme Silver Award 2006 - the site scored 39.5 out of 40 on each assessment, substantially exceeding the then current national average score of 30
  • Minimised environmental impact: Ensured that all trees, hedgerow and field were checked for bird nests prior to clearance
  • Cost Savings: Our involvement in value engineering prior to target price agreement resulted in cost savings of circa £1million. Our client was kept fully informed of key decisions affecting cost and alternative value engineered options to ensure the right solutions were actioned
  • Innovative approach to removing fissured rock to sound formation level through use of road planer, with major concrete plugs required to some larger voids
  • Traffic Management: Minimised congestion and disruption by providing bridleway and cyclist/pedestrian crossing facilities over the A38, as well as erecting diversion routes for motorists
    • Only once the A5 traffic was diverted onto the new road to enable works to progress. Temporary traffic lights were used to complete the drainage, kerbs and surfacing
    • Early planting of new woodlands during construction reduced the need for further lane closures and Traffic Management.
  • Stakeholder engagement:
    • Information on roadworks, incidents, events and alternative routes
    • Exhibitions attended by the local community, showing details of the scheme and its construction
    • We developed close relationships with all the landowners and other stakeholders, such as the Utilities companies. Thanks to the kind cooperation of the landowners we were able to get an early start to the Works
    • Local school engaged with safety talks, painting and drawing competitions and attendance at road opening ceremony for prize winners.

Mick Spink of Highways Agency said: “I was pleased to see how well the team were working together. I think that showed through in the excellent achievements on site, where I noted that the job was expected to open early and on budget”.

Fact

  • Client: Highways Agency
  • Project duration: 134 weeks
  • Value: £32m
  • Joint venture with Hanson Construction (surfacing Contractor). Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) was our design partner
  • ECI during Phase 1 to agree Target Cost and provide the detailed design for the scheme
  • The route of the new A5 runs parallel to the Roman road Watling Street, famous for its historical importance. Archaeological findings were exposed including; the ditched field boundaries of the Roman Farmstead containing pottery dating from 2nd Century AD
  • During the 18 months of construction, an estimated 31 million vehicles passed through the works at Weeford Island
  • If the total amount of steel reinforcement was made up of 12mm diameter bars, it would stretch the whole of the A4 Watling Street from Marble Arch to Holyhead over three times
  • If laid end-to-end, the safety barriers would wrap around the Colosseum in Rome nearly 22 times.

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