Forth Replacement Crossing Fife ITS Project

Excellent

Whole Project Award

 

91.6%

The Project

The Fife Intelligent Transport System (ITS) project is one of three civil engineering projects that make up the Forth Replacement Crossing (FRC) Project, which on completion, will be the largest project in Scotland for a generation.

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FIFE ITS (copyright: Transport Scotland)

The 18 months design and construction period for the £13m Fife ITS project saw GRAHAM Construction undertake a range of civil engineering activities. This included numerous earthworks, installation of CFA bored piles up to a depth of 32m, grouting of mineshafts and mine workings, motorway re-surfacing, installation of an Intelligent Transport System, extensive landscaping and the fabrication, testing and installation of 18 overhead gantries.

Re-surfacing works for the Fife ITS project was headline news as it was the first major application of Transport Scotland’s new TS2010 Specification surfacing, which was well received by the Scottish Inspection Panel (SIP). It is not often that three pavers can be seen laying asphalt in echelon on UK roads so when it took place it generated much attention. The use of road surface TS2010 provides a smoother road surface which reduces noise, vibration and has a longer life span all resulting in less emissions and therefore less impact on local air quality.

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FIFE ITS – ECHELON PAVING (copyright: Transport Scotland)

Project Management

A Sustainability and Carbon Management appraisal was carried out for the scheme and six sustainability objectives were developed by GRAHAM Construction in conjunction with Transport Scotland for the Fife ITS project. These included:

 sustainable resource management;
 community engagement;
 minimising the scheme footprint;
 reducing, reusing and recycling material;
 minimising embodied energy; and
 reducing noise and emissions.

The benefits of undertaking this sustainability-driven process were that it brought together, in a clear and concise manner, the planning, delivery and monitoring of the sustainability targets/objectives of the scheme. Sustainable management principles formed an integral part of this project, which is demonstrated in the following key examples below.

Challenges Faced

Water Resources and Water Environment

The Fife ITS project involved grouting abandoned mineshafts and mine workings. The grout mix selected comprised Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA), a cement replacement that reduces the overall CO2 footprint of the concrete. A programme of groundwater monitoring was also undertaken to identify baseline conditions including water levels, gradient/flow direction and water quality in the surrounding water environment at each of the three gantry locations where grouting works were to be carried out. Our monitoring programme demonstrated that the water environment was not adversely impacted as a result of the grouting procedure with monitoring wells left in-situ to allow continued monitoring.

The drilling process employed for mineshaft consolidation also ensured conservation of valuable water resources and reduced the water consumption on the project by continuously re-circulating and reusing water throughout the drilling process.

Material Use and Waste Management

In maximising the use of site-won materials within the construction of the project, all suitable excavated material was beneficially reused on site. For example, all topsoil was reused in combination with geo-mat to produce a structurally stable and proficiently designed slope.

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SOILS PROTECTED FROM EROSION, CROSS CONTAMINATION AND DECAY (copyright: Transport Scotland)

Opportunities for reuse and recycling of materials were considered wherever possible during the design and construction phases of the project. Site waste data was collated throughout construction to ensure that the site was meeting its challenging waste minimisation and resource efficiency targets. In total, more than 80% of non-hazardous waste (by volume) and 95% of inert waste generated throughout the scheme was diverted from landfill. More than 90% of components and pre-fabricated units (by volume) incorporated within the project were separated into material types suitable for recycling.

Effects on Neighbours and Relations with the Local Community

Community consultations were undertaken by the contract Community Liaison Officer. On-going engagement was carried out with all stakeholders including community residents, public groups, and statutory and non-statutory bodies. Information on the construction of the project, including works which may affect the public, was provided in a timely manner and helped to facilitate constructive engagement with local communities during the lifecycle of the project.

As part of the community liaison programme, all comments and responses from the local community were taken into consideration within the design.

A programme of noise and vibration monitoring was planned and undertaken for each of the construction activities. The continuous noise monitoring data demonstrated that noise and vibration levels did not exceed the acceptable thresholds, as a result of the construction works, during any of the monitoring period.

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DESK TOP STUDIES WERE CARRIED OUT FOR ALL GANTRY LOCATIONS TO DETERMINE THE NEAREST SENSITIVE RECEPTORS IN RELATION TO NOISE AND VIBRATION (copyright: Transport Scotland)

Where there was a potential for noise and vibration threshold levels to be exceeded, additional mitigation measures were implemented adjacent to nearby sensitive receptors. For example, temporary acoustic screens were erected at various locations throughout the site as work progressed. CFA Piling was also selected for the scheme over driven piles as this method offers the advantage of producing less noise and vibration compared to conventional methods.

Operational noise impacts were also minimised by the use of surface course TS2010 comprising a range of Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) mixtures. The SMA mixtures contain a gap-graded aggregate mix, polymer modified bitumen, and additives, including fibres and has been indicated as producing lower noise levels.

Following the initial site clearance, a temporary 3m high environmental barrier, in combination with a hedge, and area of mixed woodland planting and extra heavy standard trees, was constructed to replace the existing tree screen of the M90 for local residents.

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TEMPORARY VISUAL SCREEN AND PLANTING TO REPLACE EXISTING SCREENING OF THE MOTORWAY
(copyright: Transport Scotland)

To what extent did the use of CEEQUAL influence your project?

Transport Scotland chose to use CEEQUAL on a trial basis for the Forth Replacement Crossing project as a tool for the comparison and evaluation of the sustainable appraisal process of the project. It was used in the Preparation Stage of the project and achieved an ‘Excellent’ (92.7%) for Whole Interim Client and Outline Design Award. After considering the values and advantages that CEEQUAL could bring during the design and construction stages, Transport Scotland gave the approval for CEEQUAL to be incorporated into the contract documents for all the major contracts of the project with a requirement on the Contractors to maintain this “Excellent” achievement.

CEEQUAL was used to provide a systematic and comprehensive approach to the detailed design and construction of the Fife ITS scheme, tracking the site management activities and associated sustainability initiatives, within the overall sustainability objectives of the FRC project.

The Fife ITS scheme achieved a Whole Project Award score of 91.6% (Excellent), achieving a similar excellent score to the Interim Client & Outline Design Award for the Whole Project. This reflected the considerable and collaborative team effort amongst all parties involved.