VolkerHighways and John Wainwright & Co collaborate to get the job done in Bath and North East Somerset

Maintaining our roads to the highest standard is a major part of VolkerHighways’ collaborative contract with Bath and North East Somerset Council.  To achieve this, VolkerHighways is supported by surfacing contractor, John Wainwright & Co, and, working closely together, the businesses are proud to have collectively completed over 60 schemes so far during the 2022/23 surfacing programme.

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In collaboration with Bath and North East Somerset council, John Wainwright & Co and other supply chain partners, VolkerHighways maintains 1,102km of highway, and, in 2022, despite the challenges posed by the rising cost of materials, the surfacing programme ran on time and under budget.

Ensuring that all schemes are delivered efficiently, VolkerHighways, John Wainwright & Co and Bath and North East Somerset council have a dedicated delivery team with an early contractor involvement (ECI) structure in place. In a joined up three-way effort, the businesses and client attend site to find and agree the best solution for the design and build of the scheme, paying attention to potential safety risks and mitigations, and to third-party utilities present in the area. 

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During this pre-work phase, the partners work together to choose materials that will provide the most durable solution for the road. This open forum provides a ‘no surprise’ approach, whereby knowledge and value engineering is shared.

Lee Seviour, director for John Wainwright & Co, said: “Our ECI process continues to work at 100 per cent effectiveness, with expectations managed, and each business having a clear understanding of what is expected from the other. The ECI process is not the only success story in delivering works for the local authority; regular programme meetings also take place between all three parties, with issues rectified quickly.”

To make use of traffic management setup and to reduce disruption to residents and save costs, where possible, time is maximised on site by completing any additional highway requirements, such as verge and hedge cutting, relining, footway reconstruction and gully cleansing at the same time.

During the 2022/23 surfacing programme, over 60 surfacing, reconstruction and machine lay patching schemes have been completed. After each scheme is completed, work inspections are done, checking the quality of the site prior to handing over to the council. All three parties also complete a ‘wash up’ meeting whereby the programme is reviewed, highlighting successes and improvements for next time.

The use of carbon-saving alternatives to traditional resurfacing methods continues to be hot on the agenda for all parties. In 2022, VolkerHighways, John Wainwright & Co and Bath and North East Somerset council trialled a Foambase solution, which produces 50 per cent less CO2 than traditional methods. This year, there are plans to use warm mix asphalt, which, due to its lower mixing temperature, saves energy, reduces fumes and generally enables new traffic surfaces to be reopened more quickly.

Alistair Thompson, managing director of VolkerHighways, said: “We have established a mutually collaborative and highly successful relationship with John Wainwright & Co, to ensure our surfacing works are delivered to the highest standard for Bath and North East Somerset, providing cost savings, where possible.”

Lee Seviour continued: “Over the last four years John Wainwright and VolkerHighways have developed an excellent working practice for the Bath and Northeast Somerset contract. It is very much a three-way joined up effort in delivering the surfacing and machine patching programme.”