GPL Civil Engineering Ltd

"Safely delivering the UK's Infrastructure"

Civil Engineering Projects

Airport City North Spine Road, Manchester

Client: BCEGI
Value: £9.1m
Date: Jan 2017 – Feb 2018

Airport City Manchester is one of the most connected, intelligent and enterprising business destinations in development today. The site will eventually comprise 5 million sq ft. of offices, hotels, advanced manufacturing, logistics facilities, hybrid and ancillary retail space.

GPL were contracted to construct a 1km link road connecting the Terminal 2 roundabout on the M56 Airport spur to Aviator Way off Ringway Road West. This road will form a crucial link to allow future development plots on either side forming Airport City North. The road is already taking shape with vegetation clearance, watercourse diversions, ground improvement and drainage works substantially completed. Utility diversions and road construction is now ongoing.

The project involves various logistical challenges around diverting major services including water, HV electric, communications and gas supplies. Interfaces with existing roads have had to be carefully considered, including building temporary roads to take traffic away from the main interface location and the construction of a 5m high, 125m long pair of reinforced earth walls ramping the road from Thorley Lane to the T2 roundabout.

The project has also required programme alterations due to some feathered friends, after duck eggs were discovered at an old ditch location on the route of the temporary road. Work was reprogrammed following the construction of an exclusion zone, allowing the ducklings to fledge before continuing works.


M60 Smart Motorways – Concrete Structure & Drainage Works

Client: Manchester Smart Motorways
Value: £4.75m
Date: April 2015 to June 2016

A 17 mile section of the motorway between Junction 8 of the M60 and Junction 20 of the M62 is being upgraded to become a Smart Motorway. The smart motorways utilise camera monitoring to calculate variable speed limits and improve traffic flow. Also by allowing the hard shoulder to be used as a running lane during peak periods, the capacity of the motorway can be significantly increased.

To facilitate the new infrastructure GPL’s contract was initially to construct 24nr CCTV bases and 25nr gantry bases, each base being a reinforced concrete structure. Following a successful period on site, the scope of works was increased to include:

Some of the areas could only be accessed at night under Traffic Management restrictions which necessitated both day time and night time shift working.

GPL were also awarded a package of works to install verge drainage works in Section 5 of the project (Junctions 18 to 20 of the M62). These works comprised:

Following the successful completion of these works we were then awarded the verge drainage works within Section 3 (M60 Junctions 11 to 13) which included further modifications to existing manholes and the installation of new attenuation drainage systems.


M6 Junction 23 – Haydock Island

Client: Balfour Beatty Mott McDonald Joint Venture
Value: £2.3m
Date: January 2015 to June 2015

In September 2014 the government announced a further £314m of investment in highways works to help stimulate the UK economy. The projects, an extension to the ‘pinch point’ schemes, were aimed to cut congestion, increase safety and reduce journey times. One such project was at Junction 23 of the M6 motorway – the intersection with the major A580 East Lancs Road.

GPL were engaged to supply labour, plant and material resources to undertake all excavation, drainage, kerbing, duct laying, road and pavement construction works for the revised junction layout.

Haydock completed works web

The works were planned to be substantially complete and open to the public by 31st March and so management and resources were provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In a difficult environment, Health and Safety was paramount at the extremely busy junction. All works were carried out under Traffic Management restrictions and the continued shifting of running lanes throughout the remodelling of the island were challenging for all.

Within the scheme, new turning lanes were introduced underneath the motorway for access to the motorway in both directions and the A59 junctions to Newton and Haydock were both improved.


M6 Junction 26 – Orrell Interchange

Client: Balfour Beatty Mott McDonald Joint Venture
Value: £900k
Date: November 2014 to April 2015

As well as the ‘Pinch Point’ scheme at Haydock Island, GPL were engaged at the Orrell Interchange.

The works here involved the remodelling of the existing roundabout on the east of the motorway and major improvements to widen the link road from the roundabout to the A577 Orrell Road. The area around the link road has previously been heavily mined and extensive works were carried out to cap and slab over any redundant shafts.

orrell roundabout completed works web

GPL’s resources were on site 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to help complete the scheme on time with the works required to be substantially complete by the 31st March. GPL’s work scope included:


 Beaumont Pylon Base, Lancaster

Client: Costain
Value: £100k
Date: April 2015 to May 2015

Costain engaged GPL to supply labour, plant, equipment and temporary works resources to construct a Stabilisation Slab and Shear Key to an existing Electricity Pylon base.

The works formed part of the overall project to construct the new Heysham to M6 Link Road. The new road to be named ‘The Bay Gateway’ will improve access to the port at Heysham and reduce congestion in the Lancaster area.


M6 J19 – J20 CSB and M6 Sink Moss to Guidepost (Phases 1 & 2)

Client: BBMM Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald
Value: £3.0m
Date: Dec 2015

The works were carried out for the Highways England Area 10 Balfour Beatty Mott Macdonald Joint Venture over an 8 kilometre stretch of the M6 between Junction 19 at Knutsford and J20 at Lymm.

The project was carried out within Lane 3 closures Northbound and Southbound protected by Variogard, commenced in December 2015 and was completed within an 18 week period.

The works involved the reconstruction of the existing soft central reserve to receive a V channel drainage system and concrete safety barrier constructed by others.

The activities involved:-

General excavation works to design level including disposal to an offsite tip.

Upgrading and improvements to existing central reserve drainage system to accommodate increased surface water catchment from the newly hardened central reserve.  This involved the relaying of existing deep drainage and the construction of new PC manholes.

Installation of narrow filter drain.

Place and compact sub base including final trim to fine tolerances.

Due to the challenging programme, and the necessity to work in close proximity to other contractors, co-ordination of the site activities between all parties was paramount to the success of the project. The management of this interface was achieved through the implementation of Lean Construction practices which GPL are heavily committed to.

The challenging timescales also meant that innovative solutions had to be considered for the construction activities.  One of these solutions was to place and final trim the sub base using a Sidewinder machine which is capable of carrying out these works in one pass and can achieve outputs double those achieved by conventional means whilst achieving the exacting tolerances required.

Manchester Airport – Airport City South

Client: Manchester Airport Group
Value: £3m
Date: December 2013 to November 2014

GPL were engaged by Costain to undertake the substantial groundworks package on the new Airport City South development for Manchester Airport Group (MAG). the works involved:

The works commenced in December 2013 in challenging ground conditions. Innovative pipelaying techniques were utilised for the installation of the large 1800mm diameter PCC surface water drainage pipes to keep the programme on track. Phase 1 was completed on March to allow traffic to be diverted off the existing Sunbank Lane and allow construction of Phase 2 to commence.

Phase 2 involved the removal of the existing lane and a permanent link between the Phase 1 works and a new junction on the A538 Wilmslow Road. This phase of works also allowed road access to a new DHL Distribution centre – the first plot development on Airport City South.

Difficulties with existing ground conditions and the accommodation of a local badger set impacted on the location and design of the Attenuation Pond, all of which added to the complexities of the scheme.

Davyhulme WwTW – Sludge Tanks

Client: GCA JV
Value: £300k
Date: August 2007 to January 2008

GPL was contracted to undertake the construction of 2 number Sludge holding tanks on behalf of GCA for United Utilities at their largest Waste water treatment works in the North West. The works involved included the excavation and installation of 50m diameter concrete tank bases formed into a dish shape to an access/entry pipe in the middle. This was formed using radius shutters, each tank base took approximately 400m3 of concrete. GPL also installed the 450mm diameter Ductile pipes which feeds the tanks with sludge and stores it before going for treatment.

Arkwright Street, Oldham

Client – Costains for Greater Manchester Waste Authority
Start Date – December 2009
Duration – 26 weeks
Value – £500,000

GPL were contracted by Costains to provide all labour, plant and materials to construct the second phase of the new Waste Receival Building at Arkwright Street. The works to the Amenity building comprised the construction of reinforced concrete foundations, 6.5m high perimeter RC Walls and 1800m2 Ground Slab.

Other works included the construction of the RC Foundations and substructure for an Amenities Buliding; RC Retaining Wall and 2nr Weighbridges with adjacent offices

Hazel Grove WwTW – New Inlet Channel

Client: GCA JV
Value: £230k

GPL carried out the construction of RC structures to form an intricate maze of channels that would carry effluent from the incoming sewer to access the works for treatment. The new inlet was constructed while the old one still being used with a final switch when the inlet channel was complete.  GPL used traditional shutters as well asPans to form the irregular shapes within the design whilst working in an area where there was not a lot of working space. The works was completed on time and within budget.

River Roch Flood Allievation Scheme

Client: VHE PLC
Duration: 24 Weeks
Value: £200,000

GPL successfully won this contract with a new client, the works involved the rebuilding of an exisiting river wall which protected the area from flooding. The wall was sheet piled by the main contractor, GPL reused all the existing stone which was stored on site to rebuild the wall. All the works had to be undertaken within the cofferdam area on the river side, in addition to the wall a new access ramp was constructed to gain access to the river and coil logs planted with Reeds was installed along the river wall to provide a sustainable environment for river habitats within a built up area as this was within the town centre of Rochdale.

GEO-Fibre optics Cable Holyhead to Wrexham

Client: North Midland Construction
Date: August 2008 – February 2009
Value: £550,000

GPL were employed by North Midland Construction on behalf of a Company GEO, that provides Fibre Network solutions on a national scale, connecting cities via the Broadband experience. GPL undertook the civils element to construct at 7 locations Data masts for satalite technology to be housed, these were compounds which followed the A55 from Holyhead to Wrexham and consisted of a mast base and plinths to carry prefab units, these were then made secure by security fencing with roads constructed to provide access. GPL resourced effectively from local sources to help construct these compounds.

Glossop Town Centre Paving

Client: Morrison Construction
Date: November 2007 to March 2008
Value: £200,000

GPL carried out the paving works to Glossop Train station, the works had to be co-ordinated to allow access at all times to members of the public. The works involved the removing of the existing paving and replacing with new setts and York stone pavers to transform and upgrade the town centre which the train station was the main feature. Other works involved the sheet piling in order to form the stairs to provide a new access to the station.

Quays Gateway Phase 1

Client: GallifordTry for Urban Vision / Salford City Council
Start Date: April 2010
Duration: 56 weeks
Value: £825,000

GPL were engaged by GallifordTry Construction to undertake the internal redevelopment of the main roundabout at the end of the M602 in Salford.

The works comprised the initial site clearance works – removal of existing footpaths, vegetation and tree pruning; new hard and soft landscaping to the roundabout; drainage and ductwork, construction of large reinforced concrete crane bases to hold 2nr heritage cranes being relocated from Salford Quays and the modification and refurbishment of 4nr subways.

These works were undertaken amidst live traffic on a particularly busy section of road, over and around a live railway line and involved the continued management of pedestrian traffic through the site and subways.

Stratford Waterside

Client: Morrison Construction for Warwickshire County Council
Start Date: April 2010
Duration: 34 weeks
Value: £800,000

GPL were engaged by Morrison Construction to undertake the hard landscaping works in the immediate vicinity of the prestigious and newly refurbished Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford upon Avon.

The works comprised the supply of labour, plant and materials to dig up and then relay all paving and surfacing materials to a 1km stretch of urban highway and adjacent footways. The works also involved the construction of raised tables, ACO drainage channels and the installation of signage and street furniture.

These works were made particularly difficult by the need to accommodate vehicular access including construction traffic to the RST Redevelopment and huge numbers of tourists and shoppers in the area.

Caernarfon SubStation

Client: North Midland Construction (for Iberdrola)
Value: £300k
Contract Type: NEC 3 Option B

Following the successful completion of the works at Welshpool for North Midland Construction, GPL successfully negotiated similar works at Caernarfon.

The project again comprised the demolition of existing reinforced concrete structures followed by reconstruction to house modern equipment. The existing transformer was situated within a brick built noise enclosure, the removal of which presented significant challenges as the demolition was taking place adjacent to equipment that was to remain operational.

All spoil generated from the demolition and excavation was heavily contaminated and had to be carefully disposed of at a licensed facility.

As at Welshpool, as soon as demolition works began it became clear that many original assumptions had been incorrect and the extent and scope of works was constantly changing. This ensured that the management of the works was very challenging! Nevertheless, works were completed on site within the required timescales to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

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Welshpool SubStation

Client: North Midland Construction (for Iberdrola)
Value: £200k
Contract Type: NEC 3 Option B

Initial works at Welshpool comprised the construction of a new site office compound to service the works. This was then followed by the demolition of the existing T1 Transformer Bund within the 132Kva Electricity Substation and subsequent reconstruction of a new reinforced concrete bund to suit a new transformer and cooler equipment. In addition a number of other RC Structures were demolished and rebuilt; ducting and drainage installed and modifications made to the site access at the road entrance.

The works were particularly challenging, being constructed within a (partially live) substation environment; with a ‘fluid’ design and alongside other M&E Contractors. The ground was also heavily contaminated resulting in all waste being disposed of to a specialist licenced facility.

Darfield Fish Pass

Client: Morrison Construction
Value: £220,000

GPL carried out on behalf of Morrison for the Environmental Agency the installation of a Rock Fish Pass or “ladder”. This is to encourage fish to climb to the upper section of an existing ramped Weir.

GPL sourced the required rock from a quarry in Bury Lancashire and had it delivered to Darfield in Yorkshire. GPL invited the client to inspect the rock at its source before transporting it to site. The rocks were placed in a herringbone pattern across the entire river and smaller rocks was placed in between to fill voids. The whole idea was to build a “working Fish Pass” but will a natural look. This work was carried out with a sensitive approach due to the impacts construction can have on a river that houses endangered species.

Fish Pass at Boston Spa on the River Wharf

Client: Morrison Construction
Value: £300,000

GPL carried out the construction of a new Fish Pass on the existing weir that split levels the river Wharf which stops fish from accessing the river further up. The Fish Pass is constructed like a ramp which connects the upper and lower river with a resting pool in the middle to allow the fish to rest whilst attempting to climb the ramp. The Fish Pass had to be constructed in the river, this was achieved by using a water filled Cofferdam that was placed along the river bed that was rock and Sheet piles in the upper part where it was more of a conglomerate. The fish Pass itself was formed from reinforced concrete and clad in reconstituted stone to match the existing surrounding and in keeping with the local area. The River Wharf created numerous challenges to the construction team. Working around the remains of an archaeologically important mill, on the habitats of certain endangered species, working in a fast flowing river and difficult ground conditions were all overcome to complete the works on time and budget. The final construction blends in well with the surroundings and the installation of cameras has proved the pass is working as envisaged. This project was commended for a Centenary Award by the ICE.

Flood Alleviation Works at Cawood and Ryther

Client: Morrison Construction
Value: £350,000

GPL was contracted to work on a project for the Environment  Agencgy through Morrison Construction. GPL carried out the rebuilding of flood defence walls on the River Wharfe in the villages of both Cawood and Ryther, where existing listed buildings were coming under threat of potential collapse when the river rose in times of floods. The new walls were constructed of sheet piling and clad in brickwork to keep with the area and its surroundings. Installation of new storm overflows and surface water pumping stations where installed to minimise future disruption to the area.

West of Duddon Sands On-Shore SubStation

Client: Morrison Utility Services for DONG Energy
Value: £2.4m
Contract Type: FIDIC

GPL were engaged by Morrison Utility Services in May 2012 to undertake the construction of the FRC elements of the GISBuilding and SGT Transformer Slabs at the West of Duddon Sands on shore substation in Heysham.

The contract was initially set to last 6 months, however in the initial stages, GPL worked hard to develop a strong working partnership with MUS and the fruits of this labour was rewarded with the award of further work packages keeping GPL on site until the works were substantially complete in December 2013.

GPL’s Scope of Works eventually comprised the FRC Works to the GIS Building, Transformers and Reactor Bays; Drainage and Ductwork and Access Roads as well as a multitude of other minor works.

Although initially a green field site, the latter months saw the substation go ‘live’. This necessitated full training for the operatives and meant that all works had to be undertaken under the onerous and watchful eye of Competent Persons / Senior Appointed Persons.

The completion of works at Heysham brings to an end a series of works at the SubStation site stretching back to June 2011 when GPL were initially engaged by John Murphy & Sons to work in the existing ‘live’ substation environment.

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