BAM’s social and environmental considerations key to construction of new free-flow junction

BITCI News - Feb 24, 2015

Newlands Cross completed (2)BAM Group Ireland completed and officially opened the new free-flow junction at Newlands Cross on the 18th November 2014. The new flyover, which facilitates nationwide travel from the North to the South of Ireland without any traffic lights, was officially opened by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD. The construction of the flyover was completed 4 months ahead of schedule and within budget.

The junction is part of a public-private partnership project (PPP) operated by BAM Group, which includes the construction and maintenance of the Arklow to Rathnew motorway in Co. Wicklow.

From the outset of construction on this challenging engineering project, BAM took a range of social and environmental considerations into account to positively impact both the local community and construction operations. BAM engaged with local residents, businesses and elected representatives in order to keep them informed of the various construction and traffic management phases which would be required in order to complete the construction of the new flyover. A dedicated website and twitter feed were set up for the scheme, to keep interested parties informed of the progress of the works and planned traffic management schemes. Newsletters were prepared and issued to local residents on a bi-annual basis with information about the project.

The materials for the flyover embankment were sourced locally (within 2 km of the site), and environmentally friendly cement was used to minimise CO2 emissions. The bituminous surfacing used in the construction of temporary roads during the project was recycled and reused on road schemes elsewhere.

The concerns of local residents were acknowledged, particularly in respect of noise disturbance. To this end, BAM used a noise reducing surface on the new flyover road pavement, which has had a measurably positive impact. Further, noise barriers have been installed extensively on the project, as a means of mitigating the traffic noise from the N7.

During the course of the project BAM implemented their new behavioural safety programme, ‘Beyond Zero’. The Beyond Zero programme is aimed at developing employees, both as individuals and together as part of the BAM team, so that they go beyond current expectations and take compliance with safety standards as just a starting point. To implement this, workshops were held with all construction workers and staff and encouraged self-awareness and a culture of safety on the site. The programme was a great success as it contributed to a zero accident rate being achieved during the construction of the flyover.