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Abbey Wood


Description of Works
Working with the London Borough of Bexley, FM Conway restored and improved Harrow Manorway flyover, the entry point to the Crossrail station. FM Conway led a major series of structural and public realm works that helped put Abbey Wood on the map as a thriving neighbourhood with great connections.

Delivering Innovation

The project was issued to FM Conway as two distinct work packages, this study highlights the work on the Abbey Wood public realm improvements, which included:

  • 955 linear metres of combined kerb drainage
  • Replacement of the concrete and steel parapets on either side of the flyover
  • 2,100m2 of precast concrete paving and 550m2 of granite paving
  • 500m of ducting
  • Waterproofing and expansion joint renewal
  • Demolition of existing footbridge
  • Anchoring works to abutment walls
  • 5400m2 of carriageway surfacing including imprint asphalt crossings and anti-skid works
  • Installation of 18 new street lighting columns
  • Temporary works

     

Paul Williams, Contracts Manager at FM Conway, explained the scale of the task:

“Flyovers are not traditionally the most welcoming of structures and in this case the late 20th century structure needed a comprehensive overhaul to make sure it provides a safe and attractive entrance to Abbey Wood from the station.”

A major part of the works was the replacement of the concrete and steel parapets on either side of the flyover – a highly technical task where the team had to shutter and pour concrete at height. The most obvious change for users of the flyover, however, was the transformation on the public space.

Paul noted: “As part of the project, our civil engineering construction team created new footways along the flyover with better drainage, as well as a new set of traffic lights and a Toucan crossing into the station to ensure that access is as easy as possible for pedestrians.

“We also installed two new bus shelters and converted an old bus stand into a cycle shelter to build better connections for those taking onward journeys to and from the station.”

These improvements are reflected across the wider town centre, with the train station works acting as a catalyst for further projects, creating an attractive environment for residents and commuters around and underneath the flyover, introducing new lighting as well as trees, soft landscaping and benches.

Paul explained: “Throughout the project the design had the desire to create a high-quality village-style environment that encouraged people to stop and enjoy the area, rather than simply passing through. This was achieved in the material we used, from durable but attractive granite setts outside the train station forecourt to York stone paving and high-quality lighting designs.

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Throughout the project the design had the desire to create a high-quality village-style environment that encouraged people to stop and enjoy the area, rather than simply passing through.

Paul Williams - Contracts Manager at FM Conway
Challenges and Solutions

The main issue affecting the works was the project location. The A2041 at Harrow Manorway carries approximately 25,000 vehicles per day and nine high frequency bus routes cross Abbey Wood flyover. Therefore, FM Conway’s construction works were delivered in a total of 10 phases to maintain traffic flows, minimise disruption and coordinate with other local improvements to reduce the cumulative network impact.

Our team worked in collaboration with the two local authorities (Bexley and Greenwich), the Peabody Housing Trust and adjacent Crossrail works contractor (Balfour Beatty) to plan construction activities, site logistics and traffic management interventions across the wider area.

The works were delivered between Knee Hill and the elevated Eastern Way roundabout which required access to be maintained to both the Peabody and Thistlebrook estates at all times. This was achieved by engaging with residents directly, through Bexley Council and through Thistlebrook Estate’s Resident Liaison Officer. We maximised existing channels of communications such as Bexley’s website, letter drops, notice boards and provided updates via weekly newsletters and personalised text messages.

Existing traffic signals were maintained for a long as possible by working closely with TfL, Bexley and Greenwich. This was achieved by transferring the signals into temporary concrete nal socketed blocks to enable FM Conway to move them in line with the phasing and sequencing plan. All new ducting/chambers/sockets were installed as part of the paving works, including close co-ordination with TfL to arrange feeder pillars and controller installations.

 

Outcomes

Working with Bexley Council and Peabody, we were able to bring in our expertise from across the business to deliver a really exciting scheme.

FM Conway’s coordinated approach to delivery and extensive in-house capability provided a high degree of resilience to the programme and ensured works were delivered on time, to the highest quality and in accordance with the agreed budget.