"Outstanding teamwork" between Leicestershire County Council and Morgan Sindall Infrastructure was acknowledged at the Highways Awards 2020 which saw the collaborative relationship between the two organisations scoop Highly Commended.
Morgan Sindall is the contractor working with the county council on an improvement scheme on the M1 J23 and the A512 at Loughborough, aimed not only at relieving current traffic congestion, but also ensuring that the road network is fit for the future.
With thousands of new homes planned for the Loughborough and Shepshed areas, there were concerns that traffic congestion could lead to tailbacks blocking a section of the M1, a critical route supporting the local, regional and national economies.
The project includes not only improvements at M1 junction 23, but also the remodelling of five junctions on the A512 and upgrading its single carriageway to dual carriageway. The scheme also improves accessibility for pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities.
Both the county council and Morgan Sindall Infrastructure were determined that they would work as one to ensure the timely and efficient completion of the scheme.
As part of scheme delivery work, they set up working groups with representatives from each organisation, focusing on six key areas – health, safety and wellbeing; working with communities, getting it right first time, environment and ecology, cost and efficiency, and innovation.
Targets set included making sure there was no duplication of tasks; minimising costs and the time the scheme is on the ground to reduce disruption in the area as far as possible; that recognised savings were made throughout the project and that the work was carried out in accordance with the council’s environmental strategy – the latter seeing the environment group investigating the use of plastic in asphalt.
Judges agreed that the partnership work excelled in many areas, especially community engagement, which led to many local people welcoming the project and understanding its value.
The scheme funding comprises different sources including developer contributions and £5 million from Highways England. A total of £13.8 million has been awarded from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) Local Growth Fund (£12m) and Getting Building Fund (£1.8m). Both are Government funds allocated to the LLEP for shovel ready infrastructure projects to create jobs, benefit the local area and support economic recovery across the county.
Councillor Trevor Pendleton, county council cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“It is clear that our partnership is working well – our ‘one team’ approach on our projects has already shown financial and community benefits. We are delighted that our efforts have been recognised at the Highways Awards.”
Paul Gott, Morgan Sindall Infrastructure’s managing director for highways, said
“We are thrilled to receive this recognition, it is a great achievement for the partnership, delivery teams and individuals involved. This is just the beginning and it shows what can be achieved when two organisations work together to challenge the status quo.”
Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors, said:
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“It’s wonderful to see yet another piece of award-winning infrastructure work nearing completion. This project has been a triumph of collaboration between all stakeholders. I’m pleased that the LLEP was able to contribute significant funding to ensure this vital work was able to be undertaken.”