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A30 Merrymeet junction improvements

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The works involved design and construction of a new bridge to form grade separation over the existing A30 in Devon with associated earthworks, carriageway construction and slip roads, lighting, signing and traffic management. 

A30 Merrymeet junction improvements

The new bridge over the A30 connects the A382 and C50 roads to the eastbound and westbound slip road of the A30. The bridge provides a good 'fit' into the landscape and does not impact on Dartmoor National Park, which borders the A30 to the south.

The majority of the existing boundary fencing was removed, and the post and rail fencing was donated to North Tawton School to fence their football pitch. Other parts of the fencing were also given to a local riding stable and other local charities.

Careful management resulted in the avoidance of the need for a Public Inquiry, with time savings of nine to 12 months and cost savings of £300k to £500k. Value engineering through challenging highway alignment departures achieved a further £900k of savings, giving overall improved value to the Highways Agency.

Achievements

  • Reduced congestion and improved safety by removing the roundabout to through traffic and providing a two-level junction
  • The design was done within budget and the construction was completed three months ahead of programme, enabling us to open the road before Christmas
  • Traffic Management:
    • Our flexibility was a plus point, enabling weekend working to be approved through queue prediction analysis
    • Pedestrians were segregated from plant and vehicles by use of physical barriers. A system of green flags was implemented to identify pedestrian routes and supplemented with signed safe crossing points
  • Stakeholder Involvement:
    • Provided information on changes to traffic management through the local radio, HA websites, the national traffic control centre, the Maintaining Agent and the local authority. Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership were involved throughout
    • Traffic Management layouts were displayed in the site office reception area detailing the current running lanes, closed lanes and areas of work
    • Engaged with local haulage businesses informing them of closures and diversions
    • Presentations to local schools and site visits highlighting the hazards associated with the project
    • Early contact with Area 1 Maintaining Agent and Devon CC helped to achieve successful handover
    • Employed local businesses for site functions, such as catering, and offered employment to local people
  • Flexible equipment from RMD Kwikform, our formwork and falsework specialist business, offered fast and effective support. Paraslim is a safe and easy erection option, as it enabled modules weighing up to 1.5 tonnes to be readily crane handled during erection and dismantling, reducing the need for procurement of special lifting accessories and reducing costs. It offered flexibility as it simply adjusted in length to suit a range of depths of bridge beam
  • Safety:
    • Zero Accidents on the project due to successful Risk Management action plans in place
    • Improved safety for pedestrians crossing the A30 and reduced lighting scatter thanks to the installation of modern lighting
    • Site specific induction training, supported by showing Safety Awareness and ‘Don’t Walk By’ DVDs. The ‘Don’t Walk By’ campaign aims to change peoples work culture; it is about individuals taking responsibility for their own safety, for those that they work with
    • A parking bay was situated adjacent to the bridge site and located on the side road rather than the A30 to reduce the risk of a high-speed traffic accident
  • Reduced the impact on the environment by introducing new earth screening and tree planting of 23,756sqm of mix and scrub and 111 trees
  • Flexible approach from both the programmer and site team. The safety fencing was a success despite issues with changing standards
  • Environmental benefits of retaining the surplus material locally.

Fact

  • Client: Highways Agency
  • Value: £12.1m
  • Duration: 178 weeks
  • Completion date: April 2007
  • 24,570 man hours up to road opening on the 22nd December 2006
  • 2,288m of Post and Rail fencing across the site
  • Earthworks: 135,000 cu m excavation
  • Bridge beams 68.1m length in total
  • Formwork of 835 sq m 
  • 8,048m of white lines
  • 31,044 sq m of surfacing

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