A14 Road Improvements : Concrete Contract
The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme recently marked its first anniversary. Great progress has been made to date, along the 21-mile route of this 1.5 billion Highways England scheme.
The A14 Integrated Delivery Team (IDT) which comprises three joint ventures, between Costain-Skanska, Balfour Beatty-Carillion and Atkins-CH2M Design, is working on behalf of Highways England to deliver ‘much more than a road’. The work will ‘relieve congestion, reduce accidents, connect communities and decrease journey times’, with the new road on-course to open by the end of 2020.
The project team is committed to positive engagement with local communities, employing local workers and companies wherever possible. To that end, local business Mick George Ltd has been contracted to complete a significant proportion of work on the project, for which circa 1,000 locally-sourced staff members are employed, of which 150 have been recruited for this project alone.
Mick George’s principal services include earthworks, demolition, concrete & aggregate supply and waste management. The company is recognised as a positive presence in the construction industry, with impressive growth figures and forecasts to reinforce this.
The organisation has now landed a lucrative contract worth over £16 million, for the exclusive supply of concrete for the main highway build. In its entirety, 300,000m3 of concrete will be supplied over three and a half-years, from two dedicated on-site plants. These have been established on site at Brampton and Ermine Street, with further supplies sourced from Mick George’s existing local facilities.
To date, the concrete supplied has been instrumental in the advancements made to build 34 new bridges and other structures. The first side road bridge on the A1198 opened to traffic in September 2017, with the Grafham road bridge, which will pass over the A1 and A14, also nearing completion.
Many of the columns and foundations for the remaining bridges are in place, including the 750m River Great Ouse viaduct. This structure alone will require 800 concrete panels and the manufacturing of panels required for the bridge-decks is also well underway.
In addition, the business has already made significant earthworks, concrete and waste management provisions on the project’s five site compounds within the Cambridgeshire region, which are critical to the development of the project.
Total aggregate requirements for the duration of the project are likely to exceed 10 million m3 and Mick George Ltd’s contribution brings numerous benefits. Using local suppliers to distribute materials along haulage routes significantly reduces carbon emissions, whilst maximising local employment opportunities. In excess of 650,000 tonnes of various aggregate materials have been delivered in this way so far.
Michael George, Contracts Director of Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme has been long overdue and we are extremely excited about playing a key role in the scheme’s development and delivery. It is fantastic that Highways England recognise the strategic benefits of utilising local suppliers, adding significant value and benefits to the wider local economy and communities.’’