SECTOR: Civil engineering
PROJECT TITLE: Luton Town Centre Paving Works
CLIENT: Luton Borough Council
VALUE OF WORKS: £.5 Million
DATE OF COMPLETION: March 2015
As part of our work in Luton for Volkerhighways we took the lead in the construction of the £500K improvement works in Guildford street and up to the new travel centre. We met the client engineers prior to the start of construction in order to discuss and agree a work programme and construction methodology. The works were programmed to take up to six months and were on the main pedestrian route from the station to the Town Centre.
Due to the high profile nature of the work we needed to work in partnership with the Council Engineer and other stakeholders. We endeavoured to provide the engineers with information to assist them with the important consultation and information letters and other communications with councillors, residents, businesses and people using the area. A key aspect of this was providing advance notice of any potential issues. We directly liaised with the local businesses in the Mall and built up strong relationships. We also had to amend our programme, with the agreement of the engineers to accommodate a change in the construction programme for the travel centre.
We were able to work closely with engineers to modify the design in light of issues such as buried services. A joint decision was made with the client not to carry out radar surveys to locate services. While saving cost and time this increased the risk, which needed to be managed. In taking this calculated risk, we took into account the experience of the client in the recent work around the town hall. In order to minimise the increased risk, we effectively worked as an integrated team with the client engineer.
By focusing on improving the skills and providing training to our work force we were able to deliver continuous improvement and increased the rate of laying granite paving by over 200%. This helped us achieve our shared ambition and goals, which include completion of the work, safely, on time and on budget and with minimum inconvenience to the public.
During the early consultation phases and the site set up operation, initially, only a small number of the traditional business owners (notably the restaurants) were interested in the plans and forthcoming works. As the scheme progressed and more areas of the town centre were considerably improved, the community spirit grew considerably as did the positive comments from the daily rail commuters.
The following text is the feedback we received from Luton Borough Council –
“As a whole I think you will agree the scheme looks great and TGRAM have performed very well throughout. The quality of the workmanship and the gang’s relationship with local businesses has received very positive comments from local people, councillors and officers from the council. This is the first high quality paving scheme TGRAM have carried out in Luton and the level of quality is in my opinion better than the previous scheme carried out by a different contractor outside the Town Hall. Further work awarded within LTS is a clear indication of this too.”