Costain has completed a €241 million road scheme linking the northern English city of Preston and the neighbouring Fylde region to the M55 motorway.
The Preston Western Distributor Project consists of a new motorway junction - the M55 Junction 2 - a dual carriageway and two connecting roads. Work was delivered on behalf of Lancashire County Council as part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, said Andy Clarke, integrated transport director at Costain.
Ecology and nature conservation were important considerations for the project. The plans were designed to restore farmland and to protect and enhance habitats for species including great crested newts, bats, birds, brown hare, hedgehogs and common toads. The project has delivered a net gain in biodiversity of around 10%, according the Costain, the contractor for the project.
In addition, all the removed soil was kept onsite and reused for landscaping around the new roads. Together with other initiatives such as renewable energy use and eliminating diesel across the project, Costain said it saved more than the equivalent of 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The new dual carriageway is named after Edith Rigby in honour of Preston's most famous suffragette - early 20th century activists who fought for the right of women to vote. The carriageway links the A583 Blackpool Road and Riversway with the new junction 2 on the M55. Two smaller roads connect the dual carriageway to new and existing housing areas. The new roads also provide shared walking and cycling lanes.
“This project has been an excellent example of how finding the right partner though the Early Contractor Involvement process can produce the cooperative team necessary for such a complex and challenging project,” said Phill Wilson, project manager at Lancashire County Council. “Costain has played a vital part in the development, design and construction process for the Preston Western Distributor Project from commencing their involvement in 2016."
The Early Contractor Involvement phase began in 2016, three years before construction started. It gave Lancashire County Council cost and programme certainty by providing services including commercial management, value engineering advice, planning and project controls and stakeholder engagement.