The A160/A180 Port of Immingham improvement project is a key infrastructure scheme being undertaken by the UK’s Highways Agency. Located in North-East Lincolnshire, the project will upgrade a 5km strategic link road from the existing A160 between the junction with the A180 at Brocklesby interchange and the Port.

The £88.4m ($116.18m) project was announced in 2012 and works commenced in March 2015, while completion is scheduled for March 2017.

The project scheme is a key strategic link constantly prone to congestion due to the high proportion of heavy goods vehicles plying on the route. The improvement will provide better access to the Port of Immingham, promote growth, reduce journey times and generate economic benefits in the area.

A160/A180 Port of Immingham improvement project purpose and design

The Port of Immingham is one of the UK’s busiest ports, handling 55 million tonnes (Mt) of goods a year and contributing approximately £460m a year to the regional economy. A large number of heavy goods vehicles travel from the port on to the A160 each day, leading to congestion.

Improvement of traffic flow and freight movements is required to ensure the future growth of the port.

The project is being undertaken under the UK’s Planning Act 2008, a £15bn plan to improve England’s transport infrastructure. Recognising its strategic importance, the project was one of four chosen for accelerated delivery reducing its timeline by approximately 18 months.

The improvements will be made in four main areas. The first area includes the Brocklesby Interchange, which will be converted into an oval two bridge roundabout interchange. In addition, a 2km carriageway section of the A160 will be converted to a dual carriageway.

The second area of the scheme includes the Habrough Road junction, which will be replaced by a new roundabout 100m in diameter. The roundabout will provide links to Ulceby Road, East Halton Road and Habrough Road. A new connection to Top Road and Greengate Lane will also be provided. The new A160 dual carriageway will connect to the existing dual carriageway at the new roundabout.

The Town Street road bridge is the third area to be upgraded under the project. Works to be carried out in this area include the construction of a new road bridge over the dual carriageway to provide access on each side.

A new gyratory system will be constructed in the fourth area, which includes the Manby Road roundabout and Rosper Road. The system will connect the area with the port and include the construction of a new link road and a bridge under the railway line carrying freight trains. It will increase capacity and provide better access to the port.

Bridge construction

The project scheme included the construction of a 3,750t bridge under a railway line. Construction of the bridge started in July 2015 and was completed in December 2015. The reinforced concrete bridge box was constructed near the railway line to avoid disruptions to existing operations.

The bridge construction required 20,000t of earth to be removed from the rail embankment, and the use of 40t and 20t excavators, 35t long-reach excavators, a bulldozer, and eight dump trucks.

The bridge was slipped into position using Freyssinet’s Autofoncage® method using four 1,000t jacks and other hydraulic equipment.

Technology used for the road improvement

For the first time, an asset management solution called Smart Highways 7 was trialled for the project to enable Highways England to tag a range of assets along with the project scheme. Developed by RedBite, the technology was used to tag assets such as street lights, pavements, culverts and drainage for future maintenance.

The technology used radio frequency identification (RFID), quick response (QR) codes and GPS tags to collect data of various assets. The data can be used by Highways England in future to monitor the condition of the asset and perform repairs when a fault is detected.

Contractors involved

Costain is responsible for the overall design, development and construction of the project. Mott MacDonald Grontmij joint venture (MMG JV) is providing technical assurance services.

Gattica Associates was responsible for locating all the utilities in the project scheme to diversionary and protection works to be carried out prior to the main construction works.

Costain subcontracted Brenbuild to construct three new bridges and protection slabs, refurbish one bridge and provide temporary works.

Jacobs was contracted to provide the design for the construction of the bridge under the railway line, while Freyssinet was the bridge slide specialist and Walters Group was contracted to perform earthworks.

RedBite was contracted by Costain to provide its Smart Highways 7 asset management solution for the project.