Work is drawing to a close on a significant regeneration scheme in which bespoke concrete nitrile-seal drainage pipes by Marshalls Civils & Drainage have helped to mitigate potential contamination by pollutants.
Marshalls Civils & Drainage has supplied more than 140 precast concrete nitrile-seal pipes totaling 362m and in sizes ranging from 375mm to 675mm diameter to developer Marshall CDP’s Gorsey Point development in Widnes, Cheshire.
The 16-hectare site is located within the Widnes Waterfront area, a significant regeneration scheme that is transforming 145 hectares of low-quality industrial land into new commercial, residential and leisure facilities on the banks of the River Mersey.
The former manufacturing site has been cleared to provide ‘oven-ready’ development opportunities and Marshall Construction is now constructing a three-phase development of warehousing and offices totalling approximately 700,000ft2 of space.
The site’s former industrial role has resulted in a legacy of contamination and, despite thorough remediation of the site, care still needs taking to ensure that any residual pollutants remaining underground do not leach out into the environment. In particular, potentially aggressive petrochemical residues need preventing from compromising the site drainage system and entering local watercourses.
Because of the need to protect against potential pollutants, Marshall CDP specified the use of precast concrete drainage pipes fitted with seals manufactured with nitrile rubber which is notable for being highly resistant to oil fuel and other chemicals.
Due to the intermittent use of Nitrile seals, Marshalls Civils & Drainage offers them as a customised service, importing them from a specialist company in the Netherlands. This requires a longer lead time than standard seal concrete pipes, as they need to be produced, shipped to the UK and incorporated into the pipe manufacturing process.
Close liaison with the supply chain was therefore essential to ensure the 14-week lead time cause no disruption to the build programme. Efficient teamwork allowed site activities to be rescheduled to accommodate this without causing any delay.
In addition to the pipes, approximately 50 related pipe components, such as nitrile rockers, spigot and socket pipes for each pipe size were also supplied.
Marshall Construction’s project manager Tom Slattery said:
“The pipes had to be nitrile sealed because of the contamination on the brownfield site. Everything went swimmingly – the pipes were no different to installing ordinary pipes, the only consideration was the long lead-time.
“We were fully aware of this from the beginning and were able to make allowances in the build programme. Marshalls kept us fully informed at all times and by working closely with our supply chain we were able to plan and execute the installation smoothly and without any hiccups.”
Widnes 400 (376,100ft2 of warehousing and two-storey offices) was pre-let and achieved practical completion in February. Widnes 258 (245,500ft2 of warehousing and two-storey offices) and Widnes 54 (50,000ft2 of warehousing and two-storey offices) will be ready for occupation from November (2022).