The completion of the Chelmsford Effluent Pipeline Works by Roadbridge was met with the glowing commendation that is expected by this award winning company. As one of Ireland’s most prominent and well-respected civil engineering businesses, Roadbridge has enjoyed significant growth over the last few years, now boasting activity across the United Kingdom as well as further afield with projects completed in Poland, the South Pacific and the Middle East.
Since its formation in 1967, Roadbridge has continued to develop around the family traditions on which its foundations have been built upon. This has seen it develop enduring relationships with clients, successfully delivering projects across a variety of sectors for customers serving the transport, renewables and energy, utilities,commercial, industrial, waste management and leisure industries. A key component of its ethos is consideration for the client’s needs, the community in which its endeavours may impact upon, and the wider environment in terms of sustainable, long-term value.
Roadbridge – acting as principal contractor was responsible for the design and build of an 8km effluent pipeline between the Chelmsford Sewage Treatment Works in Essex to an existing outfall on the River Blackwater – brought it the attention of the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS). It came as little surprise to Quality and Environmental Manager Peter Byrne who said Roadbridge had exhibited the qualities of a “considerate constructor” since its inception; it is part of the company’s defining approach.
Recognised by the CCS for its work on the Chelmsford Effluent Pipeline with the award of Bronze, the accolade joins others achieved by Roadbridge including Silver for a road improvement scheme in Wales. The Executive Summary recorded by CCS representatives following inspection of the site scored the company highly across all categories with the appearance of the site achieving particularly high marks.
The report said Roadbridge clearly approached “everything in a very professional manner” and that this is “evident immediately when arriving on site”. The CCS award was a chance for the company to celebrate its work ethic – combining the elements that make a “considerate constructor” with sound implementation of civils expertise. Indeed, as Byrne notes, it was a fitting endorsement of the company’s abilities.
“The Considerate Constructors award actually mirrors our ethos,” he says. “It gave us an opportunity to be externally recognised for our policies and procedures which we have always considered to be standard practice.
“When we’re looking to stand out in a competitive market, awards such as the CCS Bronze gives us that edge. But, importantly, it is an endorsement of the successful systems we have in place – systems that have driven the business over the years, resulting in its success today.”
The pipeline project, one of the biggest of its kind in the UK, saw Roadbridge install around 8km of concrete pipe alongside 2km of upgrades. The contract with Northumbrian Water involved the design, supply and installation of the underground gravity pipeline to run in parallel with the existing pipelines including numerous strategic crossings of roads and watercourses. The project was successfully completed on time, to budget and to the total satisfaction of the client in November 2014. The success of the project led it to being awarded Project of the Year Finalist at the Northumbrian Water Group Framework Awards for 2014 – 2015.
One of the considerations when undertaking the contract was the close proximity it had to a caravan park. A popular destination for holidaymakers in the summer, Roadbridge liaised with the park owner in regards to working hours in order to mitigate noise, while measures were put in place to prevent potential pollution to nearby water courses from the site’s large areas of exposed soil.
It was representative of the company’s overall approach. “When we leave an area we’ve worked in, we want only to have left a good impression. We will buy from local suppliers, we’ll help out with local interest groups in the area. We try to give back to the community meaning there’s a lot more value to our presence than merely the job at hand,” explains Byrne.
This means mitigating disruption to daily life, communicating with local residents to keep them up to date with project works, caring about the wider environment and the health and safety of both the workforce and others who may visit or be affected by the site works. It all adds up to being an ideal “considerate constructor”.
Byrne calls it the “non-adversarial approach”. He adds, “The very nature of civils work means we are inherently impacting on people’s day-to-day lives. We aim to be transparent and to work closely with the client as much as possible to limit the adverse effects of our work. Our ability to do this is paramount and it’s something that we’ve been able to highlight through the CCS awards.”