Buckingham Group Contracting
The Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme (WGIS) is £30M worth of road improvements that are being delivered by a joint venture between Hochtief and the Buckingham Group. BWB has been commissioned to provide civil, structural and environmental engineering and infrastructure design services for the project.
The works around Salford include realigning the existing A57, a mile-long new dual carriageway link to Trafford Way and a new lift bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal. Improvements to local roads and junctions are included in the project to improve access to the area and boost regeneration. The WGIS scheme is needed as part of developer Peel Group's Port Salford development to reduce traffic on local roads and relieve peak time congestions on the M60 Barton Bridge.
The scale of this major development resulted in a complex network of stakeholders including the Highways Agency, Manchester Ship Canal Company, Salford City and Trafford Borough Councils, The Trafford Centre and Salford City Reds. BWB's effective liaison between these parties expedited the design process for the project.
Due to future development constraints an area of 'cut' was required up to 10m below ground for the highway. To ensure no groundwater ingress onto the highway, BWB proposed an innovative and cost-effective solution utilising a combination of bentonite membrane lining and fin drains. This solution protects the highway and allows the water to 'bypass' the area without any adverse impact on the local hydrogeology which would commonly occur with traditional concrete-based solutions.
Historical stability issues with the existing Barton High Level Bridge meant the highway was required to ensure no additional loading was imposed on the bridge pier foundations despite being installed within 5 metres of these foundations. This was achieved through BWB's innovative solution of load mitigation which replaced the existing ground with lightweight ceramic clay to a depth that negates the proposed highway loads imposed.
As a high level of detail was required for the development, the proposed highway was fully digitally modelled and utilised by the contract for co-ordination and ensured consistency in on-site and off-site works information. As an additional benefit, this model was provided to approval bodies in an interactive format which streamlined the approval process and allowed for additional assessment of visibility for vehicles and camera positioning for the lift bridge.