|M62 junction completion raises region's economic prospects|
Work was completed two months ahead of programme on the new, £19.4 million M62 Junction 8 at Warrington.
It gives direct motorway access to English Partnerships’ forthcoming Omega project. This is a 226-hectare development at the former US air base at Burtonwood that will provide offices and industrial facilities as well as leisure and retail amenities. It is expected to bring 12,000 jobs to the region.
Effective traffic management was vital to the success of the 19-month contract, which involved building a new overbridge across the live M62, strengthening an existing bridge and building four slip roads to create the grade separated new Junction 8. The new junction also includes spur roads for the Omega development and a new link road leading to the existing Gemini retail and business park.
To facilitate the motorway widening from three to four lanes between Junctions 8 and 9, the Costain team also carried out the extension and strengthening of three subways, the first a pedestrian subway to be kept open to the public at all times, the second a subway carrying high-pressure chemical pipelines that could not be diverted or closed down, and the third for Sankey Brook.
The works also included bank strengthening and ecological mitigation measures to promote local flora and fauna including wild life ledges, aquatic plant pads and nesting boxes for kingfishers.
The largest structure on the project was the 120m long Winwick Quay Viaduct. The viaduct required demolition and strengthening works above the West Coast Main Line, and therefore much of the work had to be carried out during possessions. Further unsociable working hours were required during the construction of nine concrete portal sign/signal gantries and four cantilever signal gantries.
The roadworks included import of one million tonnes of general fill and aggregates, 35km of new drainage, new signing, lighting and communications systems with a total of 70km of cabling works and the planting of more than 70,000 trees and shrubs.
“It was a real achievement to complete the work with minimal disruption to the public,” said construction manager Julian Holmes. “Four carriageway closures took place at night to allow the lifting of bridge beams and gantries but the rest of the time we managed to keep three lanes open in each direction. The whole team has appreciated receiving letters from the public applauding us for the tidy, professional way we have carried out the project.”