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News from the UK Civils Industry 6th March 2019

Posted by: Melonie Debenham
Industry News

Major milestone for A14 as huge new bridge completed

The A14 has taken another huge step towards completion with the construction of the biggest bridge in Highways England’s £1.5 billion project. Once opened, the half-mile long River Great Ouse Viaduct will take the new A14 over the river and will transform journeys. The bridge will help to reduce journey times on the road by up to 20 minutes.

The bridge is part of a brand new 17 mile bypass and will link together the other four miles of the A14 being transformed.

Willie McCormick, Construction Director for the A14 said: “This viaduct over the River Great Ouse, south of Huntingdon, is by far the biggest bridge on our 21-mile project. It’s taken over 18 months to build, and covers 747 metres to carry drivers over the river and floodplain – yet when it opens to traffic in 2020, drivers will cross it in less than 30 seconds. Our hardworking team is building 34 new bridges and structures as part of this epic project to deliver a new and improved A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon for the 85,000 vehicles a day who drive it. We’ve already opened nine of these to traffic, but around three-quarters of the work we are doing is off the existing road network and unseen to drivers.”

Main construction on the A14 started on Monday 28 November 2016 and is on target to be opened to traffic by December 2020.

Navartis have placed senior professionals onto the A14 and other key highways projects. Navartis Business Manager and Civils Recruitment Specialist Melonie Debenham commented: “The bridge’s completion is a landmark step in the A14 project and it’s great to see how things have developed over the last two years. We’re proud to have contributed to such a significant highways project.”

More than eight million working hours have gone into the project which is part of the Government’s £15 billion Road Investment Strategy, the biggest programme for UK road improvements since the 1970s. Full story.

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Water Industry Awards 2019 shortlist announced

The Water Industry 2019 annual awards, now in their 13th year, will be held on 20th May and the shortlist has just been announced. There are five new categories for 2019, recognising consultants, water retailers, offsite manufacture, and water and wastewater innovation projects.

The awards have been judged by a panel of independent industry judges, including Energy & Utility Skills, Future Water Association, British Water and Waterwise.

Key categories include: Drainage & Flood Management Initiative of the Year, Most Innovative Water & Wastewater Technology of the Year, Sustainability and Resource Recovery Initiative of the Year and Water Industry Contractor of the Year.

“There were a lot of high quality entries submitted for the Water Industry Awards this year; we were particularly impressed by the response to our new categories covering design for manufacture and assembly, water retailers and consultancies,” said panel judge James Brockett. “As always, our expert judges have had a tough time picking the winners and shortlisted entries, and those that have made it to the shortlists can be genuinely proud of their work.” Full story.

Motorway celebrates 2 million accident-free hours

Roadworkers on motorways and major A roads in Kent and Sussex have reached a landmark of working more than two million hours without an accident.

Chris Sheppard, general manager at A-one+ (main operations and maintenance supplier in Kent and Sussex), said: “This is a remarkable achievement. These records don’t happen by chance. Every morning when our people go to work, they’re armed with the best safety equipment, training, processes, and support in the business. From the office to the field employees, the importance of safety and wellbeing is continually emphasised.”

Highways England’s Karen Davies commented: “Safety is Highways England’s top priority. Working on a high speed road is a high risk environment, but by keeping a relentless focus on safety and sharing safe working practices across our road network we look to minimise the risk to all our employees and contractors.”

Highways England have earmarked an £11 billion investment over the next five years which will be used to modernise and maintain the network. Many of these will build upon current safety measures and include upgrading junctions, removing bottlenecks, upgrading barriers and verges, and improved signage. Full story.

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