Fitzgerald has successfully delivered a new £1.1m cycling route on the A457 Tollhouse Way for SMBC. The scheme included realigning existing kerb lines, new drainage, carriageway and footway surfacing, lining, and signing. The 22-week project was awarded through Fitzgerald’s place on Lot 3 of the Black Country Framework for Minor Works.

The scheme, which was carried out safely in a live traffic environment and adjacent to the busy Rolfe Street Rail Station, moved the existing dual carriageway by two meters to install a 4m-wide two-way cycle lane and footpath. A new pedestrian pelican and toucan crossing was installed, along with new traffic signals near the train station. Collaborative management of scheme interfaces with Murphys, who were carrying out concurrent work to the Rail Station, enabling efficient delivery of both schemes, minimising disruption to the travelling public and local community and businesses.

Key challenges included: 

Working in a live traffic environment and adjacent to the station: Through regular and collaborative interface meetings with Network Rail, SMBC, and the local community, we completed the project with zero complaints. Our team worked extensively with SMBC, our supply chain partners and stakeholders to develop robust traffic management and phasing plans to mitigate any disruption within the locality, with lane closures limited to single lane-only night-time closures.

Utilities co-ordination: The works impacted on an existing communications utility owned by connectivity provider Zayo. SMBC was informed that the removal and reinstalling of the Zayo duct could only be performed by Zayo specialists. We worked with Zayo to develop a solution that removed the tarmac around the duct using a vacuum excavation system, minimising the amount the duct needed to be moved and limiting the costs.

Managing stakeholder interfaces: We engaged collaboratively and extensively with the Guru Nanak Gurdwara (Smethwick) and the local community to sensitively mitigate any potential disruption to them. This included amending the construction programme to ensure a local festival could proceed as planned.

We received positive feedback on the scheme from SMBC and Network Rail, with the scheme meeting client and stakeholder aspirations to provide new infrastructure to promote more sustainable modes of travel and make station access easier and safer for pedestrians.

“Fitzgerald are a very professional and experienced company. The staff they have employed on Tollhouse Way Phase 2 were all extremely competent in delivering their duties. Their detail to health and safety, time management and workmanship is exceptional. I would have no hesitation in working with them again on future projects.” Steve Wall, Senior Project Engineer, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council