Engineering company Costain is installing approximately 400 precast concrete manholes from Kijlstra as part of its Heysham to M6 Link contract for Lancashire County Council.
The scheme comprises 4.8km of dual carriageway connecting the Heysham and Morecambe peninsula directly to the M6 motorway via a newly-configured junction 34.
When completed in the summer of 2016 the new road will provide improved access to existing industrial and development sites such as the Port of Heysham, with benefits to the local economy.
Costain and Lancashire County Council selected to use Kijlstra’s precast concrete manholes as a safer, cost-effective and efficient solution to the drainage and maintenance infrastructure of the new road.
Compared to the traditional method of constructing manholes in-situ, the Kijlstra precast alternative is quicker to install, reducing site labour and delivering cost savings as a result.
Quality of the factory-made units can be guaranteed since they are produced using precision machinery to recognised quality standards. Units built on site have no such quality guarantees; they are created using mobile equipment in muddy ground and are subject to the detrimental effects of the weather.
“Our precast units are rapidly becoming the preferred option of major infrastructure projects like Heysham,” says Kijlstra project manager Steve Gainsley.
“Highways England is leading the trend because they’ve seen the benefits and want to reduce things like traffic management costs. Using our precast units speeds things up, so you can see why they’re becoming more popular.”
Shiona MacDonald, mainline roadworks manager with Costain, comments: “We’ve had a lot of success with them [Kijlstra manholes] on previous jobs. We have used them on a number of highways schemes including Church Village bypass and at Port Talbot in south Wales.
“Here at Heysham, we’ve used them in combination with plastic pipes which are flexible and easy to handle,” she explains. “Speed of installation is the main advantage – the precast units just drop straight in.”