GPL Civil Engineering Ltd

"Safely delivering the UK's Infrastructure"

Highway Projects

MSM Central Reserve – M60 Junctions 8 to 15

Client: Manchester Smart Motorways
Value: £3.25m
Date: 2017

This package of works to the central reservation between Junction 8 (Carrington) and Junction 15 (M61 Interchange) is the latest in several carried out by GPL as part of the Manchester Smart Motorways project. A combined order in the region of £3.25m will see GPL involved until late 2017, working days and nights to help bring the scheme to a successful conclusion.

Significant savings have been made because of value engineering carried out by MSM which has resulted in a substantially smaller package of works. The works, which are predominantly manhole modifications between Junctions 8 and 10 and then more reflective of the works already undertaken between Junctions 18 and 20 (see below), are anticipated to be complete within 22 weeks.

The works are located in what is a very challenging environment as it incorporates two major motorway intersections as well as a number of other busy junctions.

The works to the central reservation between Junction 8 (Carrington) and Junction 10 (Trafford Centre) were initially focused on modifying chambers forming part of the existing drainage network but will now include structural modifications to under bridges to facilitate the installation of the extruded concrete safety barrier.


MSM Central Reserve – M62 Junctions 18 to 20

Client: Manchester Smart Motorways
Value: £2.8m
Date: Jan 2017 – July 2017

GPL’s package to reconstruct the central reservation between junctions 18 and 20 (Simister to Oldham) of the M62 motorway forms part of the £208m overall scheme to create a Smart Orbital Motorway around Manchester.

Implementing smart motorways on the M60 in Greater Manchester will reduce congestion and make journeys more reliable, in turn creating economic benefits for the region and the country as a whole. A smart motorway is capable of monitoring traffic flow and reacting to changes in traffic volumes and incidents by regulating speed to help ensure that good flow is maintained.

GPL’s works include the removal of all existing concrete crash barrier beams for the full 8km stretch of motorway, modifications to existing drainage chambers and the installation of a new 300mm carrier drain to service the new extruded V Channel and Slot Drainage systems.

This project involved an exceedingly tight working environment, which when combined with strict Health and Safety policy, left little space to coordinate the supply of stone, concrete and muck disposal wagons to and from work interfaces.


A538 Wilmslow Road Improvements

Client: BCEGI
Value: £3.45m
Date: May 2017 – Feb 2018

This project involves the creation of 800m of new dual carriageway including junction improvements. The objective is to increase the capacity of the A538 from the M56 junction at Runger Lane to the Global Logistics Centre at Sunbank Lane in order to improve traffic flow and improve safety at the junction into and out of the Global Logistics Centre Estate where Amazon and DHL have recently built major hubs.

GPL’s works are adjacent to a very traffic sensitive road and the project has involved careful planning to minimise the impact of our work on the travelling public and on local businesses.

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:

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.

M56 Cheadle Branch

Client:  Balfour Beatty Mot MacDonald – Area 10 Motorway Network
Start Date: Phase 1 – May 2013; Phase 2 – February 2014
Duration:  Phase 1 – 12 weeks; Phase 2 – 9 weeks
Value:  £765k

SCHEME DESCRIPTION: GPL Special Projects undertook the complete structure refurbishment of the existing M56 motorway bridge over the Cheadle Branch Railway Line working closely with Balfour Beatty Mott Macdonald on behalf of the Highways Agency. The 2nd and final phase of these works was successfully completed in May 2014.

The scheme called upon the skills and expertise of all sectors within the Special Projects workforce and management team.

1st Phase works were carried out below the bridge deck to bridge abutments and bearings adjacent to a live and busy railway line. Rail-side works, during rail possessions by PTS trained operatives to both bridge abutment walls included the erection and dismantling of fixed scaffold access, encapsulation of the scaffold, hydro-demolition of defective concrete andsubsequent concrete repair using spray concrete methods. Furthermore the existing steel bridge beams and paint system known to contain lead were prepared by grit blast cleaning methods to a SA2 ½ Standard, with a new protective coating of Highways Approved Standard applied by GPL’s trained ICATS operatives using airless spray methods. In order to achieve timeframes imposed by Network Rail the works needed to be carried out both day and night to ensure maximum efficiency.Works were managed and coordinated to high standards to ensure all safety critical work tasks were completed without incident. A strict regime of inspection and testing was followed throughout with each sectional completion of work being signed off and approved. Upon works completion, a comprehensive testing and inspection record was issued to the client offering full guarantee of the works in line with the coating manufacturer’s warranties.

The 2nd Phase of the works was carried out at deck level across the motorway carriageways during overnight and weekend lane closures. Works included some minor civils elements; removal and replacement of kerbs, including the installation of new bridge deck drainage kerbs; refurbishment of the central reserve and verge concrete hard-standing. The most challenging aspect of the deck level works involved the removal and replacement of the bridge deck waterproof system. Full carriageway closures during weekend periods from Friday evening to Sunday evening were planned for both the East and West carriageways. During the closures, precision time management for all tasks was needed to ensure the successful hand-back of the busy carriageway, close co-ordination with preceding and follow on trades was implemented. GPL Special Projects utilised the GPL Group’s in-house plant company GPL Plant Ltd to provide the necessary plant supply and support during the weekend closures. Tracked excavators, tower lights, compressors and Hi-ab grab wagons were supplied, delivered and collected from site successfully. GPL Special Projects removed the existing waterproof membrane and asphalt sand carpet by use of excavators; all waste materials were collected and disposed at licensed waste transfer stations by use of Hi-ab grab wagons. The deck preparation works continued by use of specialist captive blast equipment ensuring the concrete deck was prepared to a required U4 Classification. Areas of defective concrete on the deck surface, if discovered could be rectified by GPL’s operatives immediately on-site with additional labour and material on stand-by if required. GPL Special Projects then carried out the application and installation of the H.A.P.A.S. / B.B.A. Approved Matacryl® One Coat Bridge Deck Waterproof System. Re-surfacing works by other contractors followed on as planned with the newly refurbished carriageways re-opening to public traffic without delay.

M60 Junctions 2 to 4

Client:   Geoffrey Osborne Limited (for Highways Agency)
Start Date:   August 2012
Duration:   11 weeks
Value:   £1.1m


GPL was appointed by Geoffrey Osborne Limited to improve the M60 between Junctions 2 and 4, including the additional works from Junction 3 to the A34 Kingsway. The scheme was to improve the merge from the M56 Sharston Link onto the M60 anti-clockwise carriageway, reducing the queuing that currently occurs at peak time and also reducing the amount of ‘lane weaving’ throughout the length of works and thereby reducing the number of (and potential for) side-swipe accidents.

GPL’s works included excavating and constructing a single concrete lay-by within the existing verge of the hard shoulder to allow the hard shoulder to be trafficked during peak times.

The drainage within the hard shoulder was redesigned to incorporate the new running lane and all the existing chambers within the hard shoulder had to be removed and enlarged with new ‘caisson shafts’. This involved sinking shafts over the existing manholes and incorporating all new and old drainage within the new chamber.

GPL also provided new street lighting and traffic signals works, sustainable drainage including soak aways and recycled kerb drain units.

Broad Street / Albion Way

Client: GallifordTry for Urban Vision / Salford City Council
Start Date: April 2010
Duration: 68 weeks
Value: £875,000

As part of Salford City Council’s £11m plans to redevelop the Chapel Street area of the city, it was first necessary to make a number of junction improvement works and road modifications to encourage motorists to find alternate routes into the city centre and away from The Crescent / Chapel Street.

GPL were contracted by GallifordTry to reconfigure the existing roads at the junction of Cross Lane / Broad Street and at the junction of Albion Way and Liverpool Street. The works also included the widening of Albion Way whilst working only at off peak times and maintaining vehicular and pedestrian access through the works.

GPL’s works comprised site clearance and demolition, ductwork, drainage, footway and carriageway construction, pedestrian crossings and the installation of safety guardrails.

Crescent Road Calming Scheme

Client: GallifordTry for Urban Vision / Salford City Council
Start Date: September 2010
Duration: 41 weeks
Value: £550,000

The road calming scheme on The Crescent in Manchester represents the first phase of an £11m scheme to regenerate an area of Salford into a vibrant city area, attractive to visitors and populated with new shops, café bars and improved public open spaces.

GPL were contracted by GallifordTry to reconfigure the existing road layout to provide reduced traffic lanes and dedicated bus lanes. The speed limit is substantially reduced and road tables introduced to regulate traffic flow. As well as the road reconfiguration, GPL’s package included associated drainage modifications and the installation of ductwork to feed new street lighting in the area outside the University of Manchester.

Hard shoulder Strengthening and Back of Kerb Drainage M6 J16 to 19, M62, M56

Client: Aone+
Value: £2.2 million

GPL carried out the replacing of Manhole covers and frames including setting back the existing gully positions with new ones and placing kerbs to form a catchment. Again this was resourced during the night time working hrs within lane closures. This contract formed what would eventually become part of the Managed Motorways network, a new scheme to allow the hard shoulder to be used during peak traffic flows. Photo to come

M6 Junction 13 to 14 Hard shoulder Strengthening

Client: Nuttall John Martin
Value: £1.3 Million

GPL was contracted to carry out the excavation of 5Km of Hard shoulder and replace with MOT type 1 up the underside of the Tarmac on the busy M6 motorway in Staffordshire both north and south bound. In addition to this we also carried out the installation of over 90 gullies which was set back in the verge. GPL supplied and laid over 19,000 tons of Granite Type 1 stone material in order to strengthen the hard shoulder which was in readily need of repair. GPL was able to resource both day and night and to source a local tip to achieve completion under strict Traffic Management and logistic conditions.

Haydock Island Roundabout M6 Bridge Deck Drainage

Client: Nuttall John Martin
Value – £200,000

GPL was contracted to undertake the complete installation of the Bridge Deck drainage from installing the drainage kerbs on both sides of the motorway to placing the new underside deck drainage carrier pipes between the deck beams along the entire bridge. The works formed part of the resurfacing and re-sealing of the bridge deck which was in urgent need of repair, this was a fast tracked order to GPL due to paramount need to repair the road surface. GPL was responsive to the clients needs, again resourcing both day and night and understanding the ever changing of the programme as the job progressed.

M56 Junction 7 Widening

Client: Nuttall John Martin
Value: £550,000

GPL was contracted to carry out the installation of 70 No. Gullys and a 1km of 500mm diameter and 225mm diameter carrier drains in the verge whilst the main contractor carried out the earth works to widen the entry slip road east bound. Other works was carried out to strengthen the existing abutment to a foot bridge and the installation of a Gabion wall to retain the embankment.The works were carried out both on days and night shifts in order to satisfy the client which was the Highways Agency. The deadline was for the slip road to be open before Christmas, we demobilised on the 23rd of December and the road was opened to the complete satisfaction of the client.

MIDAS Scheme M6 Junction 11 to 5

Client: Nuttall John Martin
Value: £500,000

GPL was contracted to carry out the supply and installation of concrete plinths for control cabinets to be placed upon. The locations of these cabinet bases were placed in different locations to where the Drivers information boards and gantry base signs were being erected, up and down embankments along the side of the motorway. In addition to the plinths GPL supplied and placed stairways, retaining walls, Grasscrete laybys and Keyclamp handrails in order to provide access to these control cabinets. GPL finished the project on time and within the clients target cost.

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