A team from Jackson Civil Engineering featured in a battle against time in the final episode of a six-part TV series taking a behind-the-scenes look at the operation of the M25.
The show, Britain’s Busiest Motorway, revealed the usually hidden army of traffic controllers, patrol officers, engineers and maintenance workers who work around the clock to keep traffic moving on the London orbital motorway, which stretches 117 miles around the capital and is used for 73 million journeys a year.
The final episode featured Jackson’s project manager Ryan Smith and his team as they worked through the night with a 90-tonne crane as part of a scheme to replace an expansion joint on the New Haw Viaduct, between Junctions 10-11 of the M25.
The work involved a night-time closure of the motorway, from 10pm until 6am, representing a race against time to get the road open again in time for the morning rush hour.
Richard Neall, chief executive of Jackson Civil Engineering, said: “The M25 is used for four million journeys each day, and we have teams working around the clock on projects designed to keep traffic moving.
“We’re all too aware of people’s frustrations at being caught up in road works, but we hope this behind-the-scenes documentary will go some way to explain what we’re actually doing when we close a road.”
Jackson Civil Engineering has worked for M25 Operators Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services since 2009 on a range of different projects on the M25. The New Haw project is the third joint replacement scheme undertaken by the team.
Expansion joints allows structures such as the New Haw Viaduct to expand and contract with changes in temperature and load, but require replacement every 40 years or so. Thanks to an award-winning working method developed by Jackson, Connect Plus and Flint & Neill, the installation of temporary ramps on the road surface allows traffic to flow freely over the structure while work to remove the old joints is carried out from below. Whilst in situ on the New Haw Viaduct, 30.2 million vehicles have driven over the ramps, their drivers largely unaware of their presence, or indeed the work going on underneath them.
Jackson recently replaced all 193 street lighting columns and the 3km cable management system on the QEII Bridge at Dartford for Connect Plus.
The new system, developed in collaboration with our supply chain partners MWay Communications and designers Mott MacDonald, involves a plug and socket arrangement which allows the new columns to be easily removed and replaced in the future. The power supply to each individual column can be easily isolated, negating the need for specialist access equipment, thus improving operator safety. Fuse protection was also included within the plug design, negating the requirement for a cut-out and column door, reducing the risk of corrosion.
Height of the 193 columns across the bridge span was reduced from 10m to 8m and the replacement of 150w SON with 86w LEDs has equated to around 40 per cent energy saving. With the lighting linked to the CPS Central Management System further energy savings using dynamic dimming and adaptive lighting are potentially possible. In total, the team managed to save £400,000 through value engineering on this £3 million scheme.
M25 energy manager and street lighting asset manager Paul Barlex said: “When designing renewal schemes, whole life cost and maintenance play an integral part in our design approach. Early contractor involvement ensured that specialist knowledge delivered a lighting installation that meets the asset requirement as well as delivering energy efficiency.”
Watch the video above to find out more
Jackson was highly commended in the ICE South East Awards for its work on the Gade Valley Expansion Joint Replacement Scheme on the M25.
The project involved the replacement of two expansion joints on the Gade Valley Viaduct, at Junction 20, which were skewed by more than 30 degrees.
Using temporary over-ramps which were originally developed for a previous Jackson project on the QEII Bridge, this innovative temporary works solution was successfully re-deployed following minimal modification, allowing the team to complete the project with very little disruption to traffic.
This ramp solution has the potential to be re-used at a further 26 locations across the M25 network, and they are currently being used on a similar project at New Haw Viaduct.
Whilst in-situ, 30.2 million vehicles drove over the ramps at Gade Valley, their drivers were largely unaware of their presence. Considering this number in the context of delays that could have been caused by the works, the benefits for this temporary works method are unquantifiable, and in that respect, this innovation has been a triumph for the industry.