Highways England’s £43M M6 junction 19 Improvement Scheme is at the intersection of the motorway and the A556 between Cheshire and south Manchester.
Over 65,000 vehicles use the junction 19 interchange each day and it requires improvement to meet an expected increase in traffic resulting from Manchester Airport’s expansion and the development of the Wythenshawe MediPark.
The capacity increase is being delivered in the form of a new bridge over the M6 across the centre of the junction 19 roundabout. This will significantly improve traffic flow on the motorway slip roads and on the A556. Highways England has confirmed that the improvements to the junction are entering the final phase, following months of construction – and delays caused by the pandemic.
What Bauer Technologies did
The project to redevelop the motorway junction is being undertaken by a joint venture of Amey and Sir Robert McAlpine, which awarded the piling and foundation works to Bauer Technologies, on behalf of Highways England.
Over four weeks, Bauer installed 124 continuous flight auger piles for the abutments (62 per abutment). Each pile is 13m long and 900mm in diameter. Bauer also installed 60 rotary bored piles for the central pier, each 16m long and 900mm in diameter.
The importance of the transport link meant work had to be undertaken while the motorway was live. Narrow lanes and 50mph speed restrictions were applied to 1.5km of the M6 carriageway in both directions between the entry and exit slip roads.
Safety throughout this project was paramount. Bauer Technologies planned the work using its in-house visualisation software. The 3D models generated were used to populate risk assessment method statements (RAMS) and inform task briefings and site inductions.
The site induction was distributed through a private YouTube link so the site team could view it before heading to site, and comply with Covid-19 regulations.
All pile records were completed electronically and submitted for approval.
How Bauer Technologies managed the safety aspect of the project
Ensuring the safety of workers was critical, especially where work required rigs to pile in the central reservation.
In addition, Bauer’s scope of works commenced during the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, which meant all work undertaken onsite had to adhere to the government’s strict working guidance. RAMs App, a cloud-based health and safety software package, allowed Bauer to carry out multiple tasks in one place.
It also allowed Bauer to create, duplicate, download and save health and safety documents, which were stored in the cloud, making them easily available to everyone and ensuring total compliance.
Bauer mobilised to site early in June 2020, with work completed successfully and safely in just four weeks, on time, to budget and to the satisfaction of the client. Highways England says it is in the final stages of work.
All that remains is to complete the links between the A556 and M6 slip roads, install kerbing and lighting columns, surfacing, marking, and install traffic signals along the new bridge as well as delivering other improvements at the roundabout itself.
Speaking about Bauer Technologies’ scope of works, Sir Robert McAlpine managing director Tony Gates says: “Given the complexity and technical challenge features on the M6 J19, we needed a collaborative partner and not a ‘traditional’ transactional subcontractor arrangement. Bauer responded positively to this and in a couple of significant areas – technical and commercial – it acted really proactively to drive more benefit for the project. Its performance and behaviours have set it apart and been above our expectations.”