Articles & Case Studies

Lanes works on M74 Completion project

Posted: Tuesday 2nd November 2010

Lanes for Drains has carried out specialist drainage works for the 445 million, five-mile extension to Scotland's M74 motorway.

The three-year project, scheduled for completion in 2011, is being handled by Interlink M74 JV, a joint venture of Morrison Construction, Balfour Beatty, Morgan Est and Sir Robert McAlpine.

Initially contracted to reline 900mm diameter culverts at both Govan and Blind Burn and a 600mm diameter sewer at Southcroft Road in the south side of Glasgow, the crews had to take additional health and safety measures thanks to chemical contamination at one of the sites.

Simon Bull, Lanes' Reline Manager, explained: "Hexavelant chromium had been discovered when the land was originally surveyed for the project about five years earlier on an area which had previously been occupied by a chromium ore processing factory.

"The M74 JV team made sure that strict guidelines were complied with to ensure everyone's safety. So, for example, all contaminated material was processed on site before being removed for safe disposal and all personnel were required to observe 'clean conditions' by wearing specialist PPE, showering on site, changing their boots, wearing masks and double gloves, and so on.

"Naturally we carried out our own special risk assessments too, and gave 'Tool Box Talks specifically about working on sites where chromium is present, so all our own staff were fully prepared."

When it came to locating a missing manhole though, the solution was less scientific and more intuitive! John O'Neill, director at Lanes' Glasgow operation, Castlebrae, astounded the team by pinpointing the exact location, despite the fact that the chamber was buried under 10 metres of demolished factory.

"I had worked at the site some thirty-odd years ago," laughs John. "Other people may never forget a face, but I never forget a drain!"

Work is continuing for Lanes on the M74 project, and John is confident that it will continue until the road is opened in 2011: "We're working on two more relines and have used a coring drill to remove solid concrete from the sewers at Francis Street so our skills are obviously appreciated by the M74 JV team.

"They like our paperwork, our presentation, and what we've done," says John. "It's as simple as that."

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