4th Generation Term Contract for the Management and Maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network North West Unit

CEEQUAL 77.2% – Whole Team Award
Version 5, January 2019 | Perth, Scotland

Client: Transport Scotland 
Designer: BEAR Scotland Ltd
Contractor: BEAR Scotland Ltd

Assessors: Alan MacDonald (BEAR Scotland LTD), Sinéad Thom (Transport Scotland)

Project/Contract Summary

North West Unit Map

The trunk road network which connects Scotland’s cities, towns, airports and ports is overseen by Transport Scotland.  In 2013, BEAR Scotland was appointed as the Operating Company responsible for managing and maintaining the trunk road network in the North West Unit.  With a total length of 1,422 km the North West Unit extends from Scrabster on the north coast, to Campbeltown in the south.

Transport Scotland as an Executive Agency help the Scottish Government meet the objectives they set for a more sustainable future.  This includes encouraging the Trunk Road Operating companies to make sure they work as closely as possible with the communities they serve, maximising community benefits, and encouraging innovation.  This environment is fostered through the requirements set out in the 4th generation contract but also and perhaps more importantly through active partnership between the wider team, client and contractor.  Through this close working relationship, BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland can deliver the service that the communities of the north of Scotland expect. This partnership helps to deliver better value for money and supports the trunk road networks ability to adapt to future challenges.

This 4th Generation term contract has been built on good practice across the industry and has evolved and been refined during the previous generations of the contract.  In 2016 BEAR Scotland committed to commence the CEEQUAL process, pursuing a Whole Team Award in conjunction with Transport Scotland.

Services being provided by BEAR Scotland under the term contract include road and bridge maintenance, minor improvements, incident management and support, lighting the network and minimising the risk of landslides.

The following work types were considered in detail during the 2017/18 CEEQUAL assessment in the North West Unit:

  • Roads Planned Maintenance (maintaining the structural integrity)
  • Bridge Construction and Maintenance
  • Winter Service Operations

The following sections outline examples of best practice with regards to sustainability identified during the verification assessment period.

Contract Management

Schedule 5 Part 8 and the 4G procurement strategy and project execution plan identified from the outset that the sustainable road maintenance, carbon emission reduction and environmental protection were the key aims of the 4G contracts based on the Scottish Governments targets. Schedule 5 Part 8 of the contract outlines the sustainable development-based contract strategy.  BEAR Scotland comply with this and are subjected to regular audits to check compliance.  In addition to this the 4G North West Trunk Road Network is subject to environmental management system audits from the Performance Audit Group who are employed by Transport Scotland as well as LRQA, an external certification body.  A good level of performance was achieved in all North West audits with continuous improvement being demonstrated in the audit reports and BEAR Scotland maintaining certification to the ISO 14001 standard.

Relations with the Local Community

Supporting the National Trust for Scotland in their litter pick of Glencoe

BEAR Scotland is keen to support local communities and promote community benefits that support Transport Scotland in delivering the objectives stated in the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s Transport Future and the UK Government’s Get Britain Working Policies. Throughout the verification assessment period BEAR Scotland carried out several community initiatives and engagement projects with schools, colleges and universities as well as developing young people within the Unit in accordance with the Scottish Government’s Creating Opportunities Together document.

Examples of this work include fundraising events for charities including Cash for Kids, ARC – Antenatal Results and Choices, Macmillan Cancer Support and Movember, supporting the National Trust of Scotland in their litter pick of Glencoe and offering work placements through Barnardo’s.

Pupils during the A9 Bee Hotel Project in Perthshire

Following collaboration with other parties, an innovative environmental project to increase roadside biodiversity was the installation of Bee Hotels on the A9 verges in Perthshire. The Bee Hotels were made from recycled wood by pupils from Pitlochry High School.

 

Roads Planned Maintenance (maintaining the structural integrity)

Environmental/Sustainability Assessment Scoring Matrix
Environmental/Sustainability Assessment Scoring Matrix

The Transport Scotland’s annual process for roads structural maintenance includes an environmental/sustainability assessment scoring matrix which is used in the Roads Structural Maintenance value for money programming process.  This ensures that key environmental and social criteria are considered during this process and factored in to the programming of schemes each year.

Crack and Seat Programme

The Roads Structural Maintenance programme included a continuation of the use of Crack and Seat technique on the composite sections of the A9 Perth to Inverness road. In total ten schemes incorporating this sustainable technique was constructed in 2017/18.

Crack and Seat Guillotine Breaker

This process extends the life of the existing lower cement bound layers of the pavement by introducing a series of hairline cracks, which more evenly distribute the strain. It is a more sustainable solution than traditional pavement reconstruction methods as it reuses the existing cement bound layers and gives a more stable base to the carriageway, giving it an increased lifespan. By using this sustainable method, approximately 27,000 tonnes of material were saved compared with traditional reconstruction.

TS2010 (Stone Mastic Asphalt Mix)

TS2010 (Stone Mastic Asphalt Mix) was used in several roads planned maintenance schemes undertaken during the assessment period. TS2010 has the following benefits:

  • Superior durability;
  • Lower noise levels;
  • Good skid resistance;
  • Decreased lifetime costs;
  • Thin layer application;
  • Excellent ride quality;
  • Reduced use of expensive imported aggregates;
  • Increased use of a wider range of sustainable aggregate sources.

As part of this programme, over 73,500m2 of TS2010 surface course was laid.  This bespoke Transport Scotland surface specification provides an enhanced lifespan when compared to traditional alternatives and will reduce the need for future maintenance.

A38 Clachan – Stress Absorbing Membrane Interlayer
Stress Absorbing Membrane Interlayer

Further sustainable pavement maintenance methods were used on the A83 at Clachan, where a Stress Absorbing Membrane Interlayer (SAMI) was incorporated into the treatment. The use of a SAMI allowed the depth of the treatment to be reduced compared to a traditional reconstruction to a shallower inlay / overlay.

The use of this method in this scheme saved approximately 3000 tonnes of material.

A38 at the Rest and Be Thankful Landslip Mitigation Works

At the Rest and be Thankful three large catchpits were formed to collect debris from landslides. As part of the £1.8 million project an opportunity was identified to re-use all the material excavated from the catchpits. This material was transported approximately 3 miles to a site further south on the A83 at Glen Kinglas.

Excavation of catchpit A38 Rest and Be Thankful

The Glen Kinglas site also has a history of landslides impacting the trunk road so to mitigate this risk large bunds were formed across the higher priority channels. This scheme, while mitigating the risk of landslide material reaching the trunk road at five individual sites along A83, removed the need to transport 28,000 tonnes of excavated materials to the nearest waste disposal unit some 40 miles away. This results in almost zero waste being generated from the excavations at the Rest and Be Thankful sites.

This scheme offers a long-term sustainable approach to the landslide risk at the Rest and be Thankful while also providing an option in the future to extend the catch pits to mitigate the risk at other channels where a risk of landslides exists.

 

Excavation of landslide material A38 Rest and Be Thankful

The A83 at Rest and Be Thankful was closed for a total of 41 days on twelve separate occasions since 2007 resulting in long diversions for road users which has an obvious impact on the local economy. Although the upfront costs are higher than other solutions, the provision of catchpit and bunding provides a more permanent solution to the problems by avoiding the need to inspect and replace barrier net solutions on an event by event basis which is the current situation.

Bridge Construction and Maintenance

A380 Criche Bridge Replacement

During the replacement of the Criche Bridge on the A830 ‘Road to the Isles’ an old redundant masonry arch bridge which was located immediately adjacent to the A830 Criche Bridge had to be demolished to make way for the new wider A830 bridge. The masonry arch bridge also created issues with the hydraulic capacity of the Allt na Criche watercourse, which posed a potential flood risk.

During the design stage evidence of roosting bats was identified within the old arch structure.   In order to mitigate against disturbing any bats, teams worked to design a new, bespoke habitat using reclaimed masonry from the existing bridge arch in the hope that the familiar scents of the old structure would encourage the bats to take residence

The new bat habitat is approximately two metres high and incorporates special bat bricks and other voids and features to help encourage the bats to roost.  BEAR Scotland will work closely with Scottish Natural Heritage to inspect the bat roost for uptake annually over the next three years and observe if any bats have moved in to their new home.

Location of the bespoke bat habitat in relation to the trunk road, within the completed scheme
A38 W37 Powder Works Retaining Wall Scour Repairs

Repairs were required to mitigate the extensive scour at the base of the Powder Works retaining wall that in localised areas was up to 1.8 metres in depth.  The design included the use of a water resistant expanding polymerised resin to fill in the void and the placing of rip rap to provide scour protection.

Prior to the injection of the resin, plywood formwork was cut in such a manner as to resemble the natural river bed and placed at the toe of the wall to provide a good seal and control the amount of resin that could arise from the scoured area.  The resin that was used was environmentally neutral, solidified when in contact with water and could float, making it easy to pick up any excess material that might enter the watercourse

Environmental Mitigation Measures

Appropriate environmental mitigation measures implemented included temporary nets and booms to ensure that any excess hardened resin was collected.  During the resin injection an Ecological Clerk of Works was on site to supervise the works and ensure that no fish were caught on the temporary net.

The resin solution eliminated the use of concrete and minimised disruption to the watercourse including minimising the need for personnel to work in the watercourse with plant and equipment.  The use of rip rap also minimised disruption to the watercourse, compared to traditional concrete repairs and provided effective and efficient scour protection.

 

 

View of completed scour repair works at A38 W37 Powder Works Retaining Wall

Winter service – innovation

Winter Service is a core part of the business at BEAR Scotland. In preparation for 2017-2018 Winter period, BEAR Scotland stocked 56,000 tonnes of salt to treat the North West and North East networks.

Salt currently used by BEAR Scotland is mined in the north of England and in Northern Ireland and transported by ship to the various ports around the North West Unit. It is a non-renewable resource and can adversely affect the surrounding environment.

Brine Spreading on the A835

Alternatives to reduce the amount of salt spread on the trunk roads continue to be researched by Transport Research Laboratory on behalf of Transport Scotland. in 2017/18 BEAR Scotland was responsible for undertaking a trial on the A835 treating the whole route from Tore Roundabout to Ullapool. The trail commenced in mid-December 2017 and continued throughout the winter until the 31st March 2018. The trail continues on the A835 in 2018/2019.

future improvement opportunities

The main future improvement opportunity being implemented is the development of a system to ensure that on-site environmental mitigation is successful and is fully recorded.  The Environmental Team have produced a checklist which can be used by construction teams to ensure that the site-specific mitigation measures outlined in the Site Environmental Management Plan are established and are effective for the duration of the works.  The developed procedure will ensure clarity with regards to the process, and the mechanism will be fully integrated into the business management system.

Most of BEAR Scotland’s work is to maintain the existing Trunk Road Network.   As a result of undertaking the CEEQUAL verification process the intention is to improve the design process to allow the consideration and implementation of environmental enhancements within projects. Such improvements could involve enriching local habitats or improving the landscape within high amenity-value areas.  This would involve working with Transport Scotland, including the assessment of the local environment and research of potential enhancements by the Environmental Team, agreement of feasibility with designers once site-specific parameters have been identified and incorporation into the final designs.

 

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