Following on from the successful delivery of two previous phases of the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package McPhillips were appointed as the principal contractor for delivering improvements across four high trafficked streets in Shrewsbury Town Centre.
The aim of the project was to drive economic growth in the town centre by developing pedestrianised areas and enhancing the user experience for shoppers and local businesses, whilst preserving the historic features of the town. Pedestrians were put at the forefront of the scheme by creating a more modern environment for shoppers and diners. By changing footways and carriageways and streamlining navigation, this modernisation programme would also lead to improvements in road safety and town centre parking.
This highly successful project was commended in both the 2022 CIHT West Midlands awards and the 2022 CECA Midlands Region awards.
One of the key challenges facing McPhillips was the impact of the coronavirus pandemic mid-project on sourcing the high quality natural stone materials and adhering to timescales for completion.
Other challenges included:
- Maintaining the existing features of the town, whilst achieving a modern look and feel to the pedestrianised areas.
- Interfacing with stakeholders and simplifying navigation for pedestrians through this re-designed area of the town centre.
- Minimising the impact of noise, vibration and dust whilst the works were being completed.
- Maintaining the quality of paving materials.
Socially distanced working practices and safe methods of working were devised and operated.
Material delivery schedules were secured by working closely with our supply chain and additional facilities were put in place to comply with Covid-19 Government guidance.
Site meetings were held outdoors and public information providing updates on the project status was displayed on information boards in the town centre.
The result was a disruption to construction activities of just two weeks.
High quality natural stone materials were used in order to try and achieve the balance between old and new.
- Footways were repaved using high quality Yorkstone paving and feature granite.
- New kerb lines were created in natural stone.
- Footways were widened, drainage updated and pedestrian crossing points improved.
To address stakeholder engagement, a public liaison officer and two full-time pedestrian marshals were appointed to assist the public with navigating the town centre and support people with mobility issues.
22 permanent Wayfinder units were also installed at various points in the town centre to assist the public with optimised routes around the town centre.
Acoustic barriers were used around the material cutting stations and working areas to reduce noise, vibration and dust.
Our on-site materials controller inspected material quality as deliveries arrived and mixed palettes as necessary to reduce colour variations when laid. Where possible, waste was reduced and materials were recycled:
- Excavation arisings and tarmac road planings were recycled and reused on another McPhillips project.
- Existing concrete paving slabs were re-used by Shropshire Council within the county.
- Paving material placement was optimised to reduce the number of slabs and kerbs that needed cutting.
The project delivered key improvements for pedestrians and local businesses in terms of safety, accessibility and user experience. New footways, carriageways and public spaces accommodating high levels of footfall can now drive economic growth in this key area of Shrewsbury.
The project was completed within the required timescales and on-budget, despite the disruption caused by Covid-19 and resulting changes to working practices on-site.
The customer feedback survey provided by Shropshire Council gave McPhillips a score of 100% across quality, safety, service, workmanship, communication/information, environment and subcontractors.
A member of the public commented on the project,..
“I went into Shrewsbury today, and I have to say it is looking awesome. The Council has done a great job of taking advantage of the quiet times over the past year to give the town an overhaul, and I love it. The wide stone pavements are lovely, the pavement benches, more bike racks – the whole thing is so much more pleasant to be in and feels safer (from traffic). Thank you, Shrewsbury, it’s great.”
McPhillips Contracts Director Andrew Dunham commented…
“We are delighted to have our work on the successful transformation of Shrewsbury town centre recognised. Working throughout Covid restrictions presented its own set of challenges, but our teams responded magnificently and delivered the project on time and within budget. Receiving the CECA and CIHT Commended Awards for our work was the icing on the cake.”