6 Nov

Island company set for Undercliff work

Isle of Wight company John Peck Construction has been awarded the contract to carry out the first major road stability scheme at Nitonís Undercliff.


This project is part of a  major programme of special ‘geotechnical’ schemes being delivered by Island Roads under the Highways PFI to maintain the highway at locations prone to ground movement.

The contract, worth in the region of £1 million, is one of the largest ground stability/highway projects secured by Rookley-based John Peck Construction, on the Isle of Wight.

The work at the Undercliff, where the underlying clay foundations have caused frequent and historic issues of movement, will be undertaken at three sections.  In the vicinity of Undercliff Caravan Park and Woodlands, the highway will be anchored by 25 metre steel cables driven through the clay layers into a more substantial layer of rock.  At a section above Hunts Road, more than 112 ten metre concrete piles will be inserted into the ground to strengthen the highway.  This operation involves the use of specialist equipment which seeks to adopt a quieter method of installation of the piles and limit the need for lengthy road closures.

The Undercliff scheme was originally scheduled for 2015 and was brought forward after on-going monitoring revealed greater than expected recent movement.

Island Roads Service Director Paul Herbert, said: “We were delighted that a local company was able to demonstrate it had the expertise to undertake this important work and that it could do so in a competitive market. A key objective of the PFI is to benefit the local economy and this is a clear demonstration of the opportunities available to Island businesses.” 

John Peck, Director said: “The Undercliff is one of the best known roads on the Island and we are delighted to be at the heart of the scheme to stabilise such an important part of the network. This is a real example of the Highways PFI bringing substantial benefit to the Island’s economy. We are very pleased to be adding Island Roads and the Highways PFI to our prestigious list of clients."

Nick Fairweather, Quantity surveyor at John Peck Construction, said: “As an Island-based company it is always good to secure contracts here on the Island so our employees can work close to their homes and also so they are able to be involved in a project that will bring so much benefit to the place where they live.”

The initial part of the Undercliff work, which began this week will involve site preparation. John Peck Construction will start their stabilisation works from 18 November 2013 and these will be on-going through to 30 April 2014 to ensure they are completed outside of the main tourist season.

Picture: Isle of Wight Councillor Cabinet Member responsible for the PFI Jon Gilbey, Scheme Engineer Kieron Blamey and John Peck, Director of John Peck Construction at the Undercliff. 

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