Welsh viaduct restoration

Barmouth viaduct in Snowdonia in Wales is being restored in a £30m project. The 150-year-old Grade II listed structure is an 820m single track wooden railway across an estuary that carries the Cambrian line. It is one of the oldest viaducts in Britain.

To retain the Grade II listed status Network Rail is replacing like for like and cost estimates between beginning the project and after starting the project have varied due to corrosion being worse than anticipated.

The Cambrian Coast line is closed from 13 November to 10 December to allow for refurbishment work.

Mental health in framework contracts

Credit silvia-brazzoduro via unsplash

Procurement framework technology company Pagabo is building mental health clauses into contracts to prioritise how suppliers deal with mental health.

Construction is one of the worst industries for mental health with 2 construction workers per working day committing suicide, three times the national average for men.

Questions about how contractors deal with mental health in the workplace is not common practice. There is often stigma about mental health at work, especially in the construction industry. There are various organisations tackling mental health such as Lighthouse charity, Construction Leadership Council, CITB and Building Mental Health.

EV charging points North of England: 500 per week needed

Transport for the North launched Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (EVCI) Framework which says that 161,000 new electric vehicle charge points will be needed by 2030 in the North of England.

The Government has said it needs to install 30k chargers across England by 2030 which is an uplift of 245% on the current installation rate.

More infrastructure is needed in order to support the transition from petrol to electric vehicles and insufficient infrastructure may inhibit the adoption of electric vehicles in the North.

Some regions are experiencing a faster rate of increase in key infrastructure such as Welwyn Hatfield which has 750% more chargers in the past 3 years followed by Brighton and Hove which has 500% more and Kingston-upon-Thames with 480% increase.

New City of London 63 story tower

Schroders are planning two new towers at 55 Bishopsgate: 63 and 22 stories.

The £600m development will be one of the tallest in the City and feature a new steel design that will reduce materials.

A new industry body formed to crack the mystery of creaking towers has discovered that                non-structural elements should be installed to allow movement freely, locked in movement causes distress and friction causes noise. Perhaps the new development will include these discoveries in its design.

The website says there will be generous amounts of flexible public amenity spaces for a wide range of community uses at the top and bottom of the building.

Willmott Dixon wins best workplace award

Credit Wilmott Dixon

Willmott Dixon has won an award for being UK’s Top Workplace in the Big Company category of the Best Companies awards.

The awards are open to all sectors and Group CEO Rick Wilmott won best leader award too.

The Best Companies awards are based on an anonymous employee survey which measures engagement. Admiral Group came second and   Skipton Building Society came third in the Big Company category.

Wilmott Dixon has an ambition to be 50/50 gender spit at all levels and zero carbon with no offsets by 2030. Wilmott Dixon also implemented a Women’s Leadership Programme. Read more here.

New river found in Manchester

River Medlock Credit Gerald England via geograph.org

Two more office buildings & a new car park are planned for Manchester City centre with construction to start this year.

The £400m scheme will include 320k sq feet of commercial space in the 2 buildings and 582 car spaces in a multi-story car park.

The first building and car park is expected to take 2 years to complete.

A new river was found in September which is being revived. It will run through a 6.5-acre park which is part of the same regeneration and was completed this summer.

Greener streets for Suffolk

Credit Suffolk County Council

Suffolk County Council has released new guidelines for developers for sustainable neighbourhoods and communities.

The guidelines include prioritising cycling and walking paths as well as drainage solutions for more sustainable developments. It aims to reduce carbon emissions in line with government National Design Guide.

The Guide is the first of its kind. View the new Suffolk Streets Guide here.

Balfour Beatty to build £300m Hong Kong office tower

Credit: Balfour Beatty

London infrastructure company Balfour Beatty has secured a £300m Hong Kong contract for Mandarin Oriental Hotels to build a tower in Causeway Bay as part of a JV with Jardine.

The new 25 story office block will include retail space and a footbridge connecting it to Hong Kong World Trade Centre.

The new tower will sit on the site of the former Excelsior hotel which has been demolished.

Works are expected to commence later in 2022 and complete in 2025.