VolkerFitzpatrick has recently won a £59 million contract from Birmingham City Council to provide strengthening and refurbishment works to the A38(M) Tame Valley Viaduct. Quadrant Transport looks at how the contract will help to upgrade and future-proof the viaduct.
The viaduct which currently carries around 80,000 vehicles a day and links the M6 to the city centre of Birmingham, will see work start this month to upgrade it.
Built-in the 1970s, the 620m long composite viaduct, which forms the northern end of the A38(M) Aston Expressway near ‘Spaghetti Junction’, has started to show signs of deterioration. The upgrade is vital when it comes to maintaining the longevity, safety, and functionality of the structure.
The Upgrade Is A Vital Part Of Birmingham’s Road Network
Work will see the viaduct’s superstructure strengthened via the addition of steel plates, secured in position using a combination of welding and bolting.
In addition to this strengthening, anti-corrosion paint will be used on the structure, alongside other refurbishment works to help preserve the viaduct’s longevity and minimise the need for future work.
Operations Director for VolkerFitzpatrick’s Infrastructure Division, Deon Scholtz, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by Birmingham City Council to carry out much-needed works to upgrade and improve the Tame Valley Viaduct.”
This is a vital part of Birmingham’s road network, and we look forward to working with the council to provide an integrated solution that achieves high levels of technical capability and service, leading to a safe, successful project completion.
Disruptions Will Be Minimised
To minimise disruption, the viaduct will remain open during this work, and to ensure this, VolkerFitzpatrick is said to be using high-level access platforms spanning from pier to pier. As the structure spans significant infrastructure, including live electrified rail lines, the River Tame, main roads, and local businesses.
Cllr Liz Clements, Cabinet Member for Transport at Birmingham City Council commented: “This is a significant investment into a key piece of our city’s highways infrastructure.”
If we are to ensure people can move around the city as easy as possible and help business flourish, it is vital we carry out projects like this.
It Will Provide Opportunities For Employment And Education
VolkerFitzpatrick has said that it will take steps to maximise safety on-site, engage with the local community and minimise any environmental impact from the work.
In addition to this, the company has said that it will provide employment opportunities over the course of the scheme and run several recruitment days in partnership with local groups.
As well as working with supply chain contractors from the surrounding area, it aims to engage with local secondary schools, colleges and youth charities and provide a minimum of seven apprenticeship placements.
Revealed in VolkerWesselsUK ‘Annual Review‘, in 2021, there were 151 apprentices across the VolkerFitzpatrick business. The group’s apprenticeship levy contribution funded another 34 apprenticeships in its supply chain.
It will also be working with several homelessness charities, running sponsorship events and supporting green landscape initiatives being promoted by local groups over the project.