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Grimshaw Group: A specialist civil engineering company providing quality construction services throughout Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, including Bristol, Gloucester, Birmingham and Oxford.

HIGH STREET FACELIFT KEEPS EVERYONE ON THEIR TOES

Since being awarded the £250,000 contract by Cheltenham Borough Council to complete the pedestrianisation of the Cheltenham High Street the company has pitted its wits against the history of the town buried beneath its streets .

The project, which was originally anticipated to be finished in time for Christmas, also include the total reconstruction of Cambray Place, from Bath Street to The Strand with new storm sewers and high grade paving the full width of the street.

"Though an exciting opportunity to complete the work we started in 1997, this project has proved to be a rather complex operation," explained Russell Grimshaw, Production Director at Grimshaw. "Not least because no record exists about what lies under the town."

 
   

Grimshaw Group: A specialist civil engineering company providing quality construction services throughout Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, including Bristol, Gloucester, Birmingham and Oxford.
Grimshaw Kinear is renowned for problem-solving in difficult civil engineering projects and the company's experience came to the fore as the engineers anticipated that old tram rails and possibly cellars adjacent to building would be found and need to be negotiated when they started the job.

Using 10 men, 360-degree excavators, mini excavators, the usual lorries, dumpers and rollers the project got under way.

What was not anticipated were the two large water mains, which feed the majority of the town centre with their water supply, being encased in concrete with the tram lines. To realign the water mains meant that the town would face a great deal of disruption. Reluctant to do that Russell and his team sought a solution that would work for everyone.

"As projects unfold it is not uncommon for problems to arise," explained Russell. "But because we are continually watching the progress of any job we undertake we can often anticipate and adjust quickly."

The solution for this project was to revise the designed finished levels, this unfortunately meant a need for the men to lift and re-lay a number of the flagstones.

Though this extended the project by a number of weeks Grimshaw's has worked closely with local businesses to ensure minimal disruption to them and the general public by maintaining easy access to shops and working outside of trading hours where necessary.

"It can be frustrating for everyone involved when a job over runs," continued Russell. "With this in mind we continually strive to keep disruption to a minimum."

Now that the flagstones have been re-laid the project is well on its way to completion

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