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Winvic branches out

16 Nov 22 Winvic Construction has been given its first contract within National Highways’ new scheme delivery framework

Winvic was selected as one of 50 contractors in September 2021 to share £3.6bn of road renewal works on England’s motorways and trunk roads over the next six years. For a company better known as a ‘sheds and beds’ specialist, the appointment cemented its repositioning as a multidisciplinary contractor.

Winvic was selected specifically for Lot 8 – structures, waterproofing & expansion joints – in four of the six regions.

So when routine inspection of the M62 Ouse Bridge, between Goole and Howden in Yorkshire, identified a partial failure of a joint on the eastbound carriageway, Winvic got the call.

The Ouse Bridge is a 1.6km, 29-span reinforced concrete plate girder bridge that spans the river Ouse. It was built between 1973 and 1976 by Costain.

This article was first published in the November 2022 issue of The Construction Index Magazine. Sign up online.

It was discovered that increased vibration from traffic had started to damage the concrete under lane three and a bridge joint, which allows the carriageway to expand and contract with the weather. 

A contraflow was immediately put into place, reducing traffic on the eastbound carriage to one lane, to allow temporary works to begin, while a series of overnight road closures during the week beginning 13th June facilitated a second eastbound traffic lane to open on Saturday 18th June to minimise disruption to road users.

An under-bridge inspection by one of Winvic’s structural engineers discovered excessive deflection within the cantilever deck section under lane three and all traffic had to be removed from this lane.

Winvic installed temporary metal bridging plates across parts of the eastbound carriageway, which enabled a further eastbound lane and the eastbound exit slip road at junction 37 to be reopened on Friday 8th July. 

Winvic is not working alone. Jacobs is designing the permanent repairs, traffic management is being led by Amey and specialist contractor VSL (a Bouygues company) is doing the actual joint repair and replacement. 

Together the companies are currently replacing all eight joints across both carriageways. Temporary bridging plates have been installed over the damaged bridge joints as a mitigation measure and a second set will be added this autumn. 

The two most critically damaged joints on the eastbound carriageway will be replaced by spring 2023 and the project should be fully complete in autumn 2023.

Temporary bridging plates have been installed over the damaged bridge joints
Temporary bridging plates have been installed over the damaged bridge joints

Rob Cook, Winvic’s director of civils and infrastructure, says: “We have been working hard with National Highways and the Yorkshire North East region to mobilise the scheme delivery framework since we were awarded our place on it, so we were able to mobilise rapidly on this project on the M62 Ouse Bridge to begin the necessary immediate temporary works. 

“We put multiple interfaces in place with the National Highway team and the other project partners, so we could work as one team, towards one goal with safety as the ultimate priority.”

He continues: “The surfacing and bridging plate works have met programme expectations, meaning road users have been able to go back to using multiple carriageways and the programme is in place to install more plates this autumn; while the priority always must be safety, it’s also crucial that disruptions to people’s journeys is minimised as quickly as possible and negate the need for full road closures as much as possible. 

“Once the permanent solution has been fully designed and fabricated, we will undertake these permanent works, facilitating the long-term safe use of the Ouse Bridge.”

This article was first published in the November 2022 issue of The Construction Index Magazine. Sign up online.

National Highways’ SDF

In September 2021 National Highways announced a major procurement overhaul, buying all of its road renewal work through a new scheme delivery framework (SDF).

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The Ouse Bridge, between junctions 36 and 37 of the M62
The Ouse Bridge, between junctions 36 and 37 of the M62

The agency announced a £3.6bn tranche of road work on England’s motorways and trunk roads to 50 approved contractors over the next six years.

The new SDF replaced the existing contract mechanisms, known as the construction works framework (CWF), design services contracts (DSC) and asset support contracts (ASC).

Approximately 23% of the overall framework value has been awarded to SMEs, National Highways said.

“The framework offers a blend of large capital work along with smaller specialist opportunities that maximises the ability for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop a direct relationship with National Highways, driving growth within the industry and introducing more innovation,” said a spokesman.

•    The framework is split into four bands:
•    Band A - civil engineering and drainage
•    Band B - temporary traffic management and road restraint systems
•    Band C – specialist works
•    Band D – design

Within each band there are between two and seven lots. The lots are then subdivided into geographically-focused sub-lots. Award values for the 50 suppliers vary between £1m and £144m, highlighting how the framework enables SMEs to operate side by side with larger companies.

The 16 lots in total are:
•     Lot 1.1 – general civil engineering (super region)
•    Lot 1.2 – general civil engineering (region)l Lot 2 – drainage
•    Lot 3.1 – temporary traffic management 
•    (super region)
•    Lot 3.2 – temporary traffic management (region)
•    Lot 4.1 – road restraint systems and fencing (super region)
•    Lot 4.2 – road restraint systems and fencing (region)
•    Lot 5 – landscaping and ecology
•    Lot 6 – road markings
•    Lot 7 – road lighting and electrical
•    Lot 8 – structures, waterproofing and expansion joints
•    Lot 9 – technology (incl. traffic signals)l Lot 10 – structures, structural services and concrete repairs
•    Lot 11 – cathodic protection
•    Lot 12.1 – design services (region)
•    Lot 12.2 – design services (super region)

This article was first published in the November 2022 issue of The Construction Index Magazine. Sign up online.

Meeting the challenge

Rob Cook joined Winvic as civils & infrastructure director in June 2020 having previously worked as regional director (civils & infrastructure) with the Graham Group. 

His arrival in this newly-created role signalled Winvic’s determination to make serious inroads into the civils and infrastructure sector. 

“It has been a whirlwind of strategic implementation and steady growth and two years have passed quicker than I ever thought possible,” says Cook (pictured right).

Winning a place on National Highways’ £3.6bn road renewal framework in September 2021 was an important milestone for the company and a vindication of Cook’s efforts.

“The tender process was robust as one would expect…[but] that was the easy bit,” he says. “October was the start of a huge undertaking to plan, prepare and mobilise, from positioning team members to expanding on tender commitments and policies. 

“There wasn’t a stone unturned between then and February 2022 to ensure the framework requirements were met, and boy did we work hard,” he adds.

In April, Winvic opened a dedicated office in Wakefield, just down the road from National Highways’ regional office, to serve the client’s scheme delivery framework (SDF). “We began to look in detail at the schemes with the National Highways’ project managers, assign design teams where early contractor involvement was possible and talk execution dates,” says Cook.

However, when the damage to the Ouse Bridge became apparent, Cook quickly realised that flexibility and responsiveness were just as important as forward planning:
“Little did we know that none of these projects would be the first Winvic undertaking under the framework. Within a month we were asked to turn our attention to an emergency,” he says.

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