A North Wales-based engineering, environmental and planning consultancy has played a key role in addressing network issues on a section of the A55.
Caulmert, which has offices in Bangor, St Asaph, Cheshire, Nottingham, and Kent, provided civil, structural, and geotechnical engineering design services as part of the A55 Abergwyngregyn to Tai’r Meibion improvements in Gwynedd.
The scheme was devised to improve safety along a 2.2km stretch of the carriageway between junctions 12 and 13. While Caulmert has finished on site, work is progressing on the final phase of activities.
A focus of the work was removing direct access off the North Wales Expressway, as well as eradicating eight gaps in the central reservation which allowed slow moving agricultural vehicles to cross.
In addition, the project includes more than 4km of new and improved active travel facilities aimed at encouraging cycling and walking, whilst supporting the principles of a low carbon society, and delivering more flood protection through an enhanced drainage system.
Caulmert was tasked by contractor Griffiths, which was appointed by Welsh Government, to assist with temporary work design, structural design checks, and construction stage site support.
Ranjan Apputhurai oversaw the structural side of the project for Caulmert, with colleague Geraint Roberts heading up the geotechnical aspects.
Ranjan said: “We are honoured to have been involved in the project and utilise our expertise in the sector to help carry out important improvements on the A55.
“The opportunity to play a part in increasing safety and improving flood protection along a significant road through North Wales, as well as providing active travel facilities, was one we grabbed with both hands.
“It was also fantastic to be able to work once again with Griffiths and further strengthen our relationship with another company based in Wales. Hopefully, we can work together again in the future.”
To keep disruption to a minimum, as much work as possible was completed away from the A55, including the construction of the near mile long combined access and active travel route.
The work carried out by Caulmert included:
Temporary work design
- Design of reinforced earth walls and soil nail walls to support excavation to assist precast concrete culverts/underpass installations
- Buried corrugated pipe culvert
- Design of mat/pads for crane operations
- Temporary cut slope stability check for retaining wall installations
- Design of slab/road plates for protecting existing services
- Temporary drainage design
Structural design check
- Review and approve specialist design for precast concrete culverts/head walls/corrugated pipe culvert
- Design and detail of reinforced concrete base to support an underpass
- Liaison with the technical approval authority (TAA), other consultants and contractor Alun Griffiths
Construction stage site support
- Inspection of existing bridge parapet/vehicle restraining system to inform the remaining design life/requirement for upgrading
- Site inspection of formation for new road construction
- Respond to site technical queries
Simon Parkinson, Griffiths project manager for the contract, said: “Caulmert has been an integral part of this project, providing the necessary support to ensure everything has been constructed safely for the workforce and the travelling public, whilst in accordance with the design and specification.”