Marsh Leys Strategic Junction Infrastructure

Marsh Leys Strategic Junction Upgrade

Working with scheduling and planning constraints to deliver highways and infrastructure at Marsh Leys

  • Client:

    Goodman Real Estate, Bedford Council

  • Engineer:

    ECL Civil Engineering Ltd with THDP

  • Location:

    Bedfordshire A421 and Fields Road

  • Sector:

    Section 278 Works

  • Project Value:

    £1.3 million

Project Scope

  • 750m of footway upgrade under traffic management
  • 12,000m2 metres of carriageway resurfacing
  • Widening works
  • Vehicle restraint systems
  • Surface water drainage
  • Signal upgrades

Project Overview

In anticipation of additional HGV traffic at the Marsh Leys Distribution Centre, Goodman Real Estate contracted us to upgrade the strategic junction and all infrastructure on the A421 at Marsh Leys. Works on the project commenced on the 19th of July 2019.

The junction was located on the strategic network, with the A421 slip road operated by Highways England and the circulatory carriageways by the Bedford Borough Council, requiring two separate regulation processes to be followed.

Initially, in order to widen, resurface and upgrade the junction, a complete road closure lasting two weeks was planned. This would have caused severe disruption to the operation of major national retail and distribution companies, some delivering perishable goods, as the junction is the only access to the A421 available to them.

After meeting with the stakeholders to clarify the goods in and out patterns, timed with the shift patterns of around 150 employees, we agreed to try and come up with a surfacing sequencing that would allow for the movement of employees, deliveries at certain times and minimal obstruction of the exit, where possible. We also provided an ingress or egress point during the night works to minimise the impact on the distribution centres.

Project Challenges

With the surfacing sequencing changed, further improvements to timings were still necessary to make the operation viable for all parties. We worked closely with their suppliers to propose the use of low-temperature asphalt that cools quicker and allows for the roads to be trafficked up to two hours sooner. Low-temperature asphalt had not been used in the Bedford Borough before, and our offer of an extended warranty of 5 years proved vital to securing approval. This allowed the works to be carried out more efficiently and with less disruption, benefiting both the client and local stakeholders.

Project Outcome

After four months of detailed and complex project planning and fortnightly meetings with all interested parties, we provided a time sensitive solution that had minimal impact on stakeholders and ultimately delivered the project on schedule and on budget. Our ability to collaborate with stakeholders, authorities and suppliers and react to their needs with innovative solutions and the introduction of new technology proved vital for the success of this project and won the company further works as a consequence.

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