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Roads & Bridges

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Delivering an appropriate and sustainable transportation network for the 21st century is an exciting challenge. Atkins is committed to planning, designing and enabling our clients’ transportation programmes.

About

Transport is a vital element of enabling a functioning economy. As global demand to travel for business, leisure and to find work increases, transport infrastructure needs to cope with both the demands of today and the needs of future generations.

Atkins’ teams around the world are working on projects that will help to shape the future of transportation – designing structures that connect cities and towns, managing highways assets and ensuring that sustainable solutions really work.

The challenge we face in providing an appropriate transport network for the 21st Century and beyond is great but not insurmountable. Atkins does not take this responsibility lightly and we work closely with clients and partners across government, financial institutions, private developers and contractors to build sustainable infrastructure for the future.

Atkins works in partnership with clients, taking ownership of their challenges to deliver real outcomes and long term benefits. We continually strive for excellence, both in the projects we work on and the way we develop both our business and our people. By investing in our staff we ensure that on a day-to-day basis technical challenges are met, delivering the best results for clients.

FEATURES

Expertise

Whether it’s the improvement of strategic links, modelling pedestrian flows in town centres or developing information systems for public transport, we plan, design and enable solutions.

Transport planning and policy

Atkins provides clients with the full range of transport planning capabilities tailored to their specific needs. Our expertise spans three main areas – policy and guidance, professional advice, and scheme design and implementation.

Highways infrastructure design

Our understanding of transport needs, in-depth experience and exceptional skills make us a world leader in the development and design of highways infrastructure. We understand the vital role transport improvements have in ensuring safe and reliable road networks, integrated transport services and accessible city centres.

Intelligent transport systems

Atkins is the UK’s leading intelligent transport systems (ITS) provider. We plan all aspects of our clients' ITS schemes, developing strategies and business plans to meet today's complex transportation needs. We also enable the delivery of these strategies by providing managed services to help our clients improve the performance of their ITS infrastructure, ensuring more efficient and reliable networks.

Angles

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Matt Gamble
21 Mar 2017

On some occasions, residential estates and business parks have been planned and developed without enough consideration of how they will be served by buses. The result is usually a low level of bus service provision, a low level of passenger uptake, and a resultant high level of car dependency. The continued squeeze on local authority revenue budgets makes the provision of bus services in these circumstances even less likely. An alternative vision for bus services in new developments starts with the principle of prioritising passengers’ time. If buses are to succeed in attracting passengers, residents need to perceive bus services to be quick, punctual and frequent. The design of new developments directly influences all three attributes. Following this, is the principle of maximising the resources used to provide the bus service; since this also drives a quick, punctual and frequent service. Passenger-facing technology such as real-time information builds support for bus services but does not substitute for these basic components. In principle, the features required to give the bus service a fighting chance are straightforward. Roads should be of suitable width and geometry to allow two large vehicles to pass with ease, with consideration given to controlling kerbside car parking as required. Bus routes need to maximise the accessibility of bus services by ensuring bus stops are within a reasonable distance, and that the walking routes that serve them are direct and well-lit. Immediately we face a trade-off between bus service density and frequency. In cases where development design has failed to adequately

UK & Europe ,

Marc Woodall
21 Mar 2017

Studies by the World Health Organisation and Public Health England show that people who exercise every day for 15 minutes, are 30% less likely to suffer from illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. Their risk of certain cancers also falls by up to 30%. But it's not only about good health; a greater number of people choosing to walk and cycle also makes good transport and urban planning sense. Transport users who walk or cycle better economise road space when travelling, in comparison to some other travel modes such as cars or taxis. Naturally this benefit extends to parking issues; you could store 20 bicycles in the same space as one car. Air quality and carbon emission benefits are well documented, and studies such as the Department for Transport's The Value of Cycling report suggest that people who the visit shops on foot or by bike spend more than people who drive. Beyond evidence based studies alone, the walking and cycling agenda has been supported by: industry collaboration, sharing of best practice, commitment at policy level by government funding schemes and the launch of their cycling and walking specific strategy. When you combine these benefits, encouraging walking and cycling as the mode of choice seems to be the silver bullet to some of the challenges that society is facing. Inevitably however, there are certain challenges and barriers to increasing levels of walking and cycling that require further consideration. There has been a real drive toward urban planning for all travel modes, but legacy

UK & Europe ,

Jim Hanson
14 Mar 2017

As professional engineers, we have a responsibility to help meet this challenge by assisting clients and communities in designing, managing, and operating the roadways of tomorrow, today. That means helping agencies make a monumental shift from relying only on hard capital assets to improve safety and mobility to embracing innovation and technology. The traditional transportation department charge to effectively build, maintain, and operate highways and their associated infrastructure remains unchanged. But it should be augmented by the integration of innovation and technology solutions for reducing deadly accidents, alleviating traffic delays, and communicating road conditions to travelers. In many states, intelligent transportation systems are already supporting traffic signals, lane controls, variable message signs, and video monitoring of traffic and highways. Through planned improvements in analytics and integration, existing systems can be enhanced and contribute to more efficient roadway operations. This innovation will help increase the level of critical information that can be disseminated to roadway users, and help manage and operate transportation systems more effectively. The simple reality is that we cannot build our way out of congestion. The need for a transformation in transportation is revving up in states across the country, and Colorado is among them. Colorado Department of Transportation has taken a bold step to effect change and transform its aging transportation system by embracing technology. Their goal is to be one of the most technologically advanced transportation systems in the nation. In launching the RoadX Program, CDOT made a commitment to aggressive implementation of new transportation technology within

North America ,

Lee Woodcock
07 Mar 2017

Reflecting on the past few months, it’s prompted me to think about Smart Cities, a phrase that’s not new, has promised so much and in my view, delivered so little. But, with a surge of new technology, digital disruption, entry of new market players and budget challenges for the public sector – could this be the catalyst for change? With this in mind, coupled with new themes and trends emerging globally across the industry, I wanted to take a moment and make five Intelligent Mobility predictions for 2017… Data Exploitation and Visualisation: This year we will see the emergence of new platforms, at pace. Data is arguably the life blood of a modern transport systems and critically important to unlocking value from new transport schemes, mobility solutions and customer tailored services. It will be through inter-operability, we see a drive towards ‘Platform as a Service’ across the sector which is here to critically disrupt the way we currently model, plan and deliver transport services globally in cities and urban areas. Journey Management: We will witness the breakdown of silos across the transport system, with the deployment of critical technology solutions that cut across organisational and operational barriers. The surge of new payment systems will start to deliver seamless and positive customer journey experiences through account based ticketing systems. This will mean no more management of multiple Apps or cards – one account for the individual or family, think Sky-Go package. Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: A huge amount of R&D is currently underway globally,

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Projects

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A major east-west transportation corridor that carries recreational, commercial and commuter traffic through the Rocky Mountains also creates a lot of headaches for those maneuvering through regular back-ups and gridlock.  When the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) expressed an interest in using intelligent transportation systems and innovative technologies to decrease gridlock, increase safety and reduce traffic time, we were brought on board to help drive the effort for the I-70 Mountain Express Lane (MEXL). CDOT’s overall vision for improving congestion with immediate, interim improvements led us to evaluate the effectiveness of a tolled peak hour shoulder lane between Empire Junction and Idaho Springs. We expanded existing models to assess traffic improvements, which indicated that travel times could be cut nearly in half in the project area. Taking an innovative approach to relieve congestion without overbuilding the mountain corridor, a 13-mile stretch of the existing eastbound shoulder was repurposed as a dynamically tolled express lane during peak travel periods. Today, it operates only on weekends and holidays and users pay between four and eight dollars, based on congestion levels (tolls can reach 30 dollars based on congestion levels). With added capacity, the corridor has seen consistent, faster speeds and reduced travel times for all lanes. In its first summer season, throughput increased by 14 percent, travel times in general purpose lanes improved by 38 percent, and the time involved in clearing back-ups substantially improved. Less gridlock. Less stress. Less time on the road means more time for the good stuff. There’s more to the story. CDOT received Gov.

USA ,

During large storm events, the Las Vegas Wash channel overbanks would flood due to overflow of the main channel, requiring regular and costly debris cleanup and repair of the facility’s only access road. Despite it not being designed to do so, the access road served as a grade control structure to protect improvements made to the channel upstream. Aside from making the facility inaccessible, failure of the road would have jeopardized the structural stability of those improvements as well as threatened underground utilities. Failure of the access road would have also resulted in damages to the surrounding private and public properties and facilities. To remedy, channel improvements were designed to increase capacity and protect against any further damage. A secondary access road was constructed; 1,100 feet of various new utilities (20-inch water, twelve 6-inch power conduits, twelve 4-inch fiber-optic conduits, and four 12-inch sludge lines) crossing the wash were designed; and other increased security measures were put in place to secure the site. To reduce cost and expedite construction of a new 200-foot steel girder bridge over Las Vegas Wash, we worked with the construction contractor and CCWRD to recycle steel girders from a former bridge. We inspected the old bridge’s superstructure, investigated the life span of the steel, verified the geometry of the girders for compatibility of design, and modeled using MDX software. 1D and 2D (pre- and post-project) hydraulic models of the area were also developed and sediment transport analysis was performed to ensure that there are not adverse impacts to

USA ,

With traffic through this freeway corridor expected to double in the next 20 years, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) prioritized investment in this critical section of infrastructure to meet the needs of the growing resident and tourist populations. Travelers make 25,000 lane changes per hour in this freeway corridor and as many as 1,400 crashes take place annually. To boost safety, mobility, and accessibility, roadway improvement plans include separation of freeway traffic from arterial traffic, reduced numbers of merging sections, and connection of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to create a continuous 22-mile stretch from US 95 through I-15. Considered the most important and ambitious project in NDOT’s history, it also accommodates regional economic redevelopment through improved access to downtown Las Vegas and the Resort Corridor. We serve as lead designer, for design builder, Kiewit Infrastructure West, managing all design and engineering services on this multiphased, multiyear project with responsibilities that include design services for roadway, drainage, bridges and structures, traffic control, signing, pavement marking, landscape, and ITS as well as providing quality control, utility coordination, public involvement, design surveying, and design support during construction.   Video courtesy of NDOT

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HE partnered with their Netherlands equivalent, Rijkswaterstaat (RWS), to help overcome their legacy system drawbacks. Both wished to develop a future operating model that delivered a modern and open technology platform and effective supply chain that would improve the resilience and efficiency of their road networks. Atkins were tasked with developing the security requirements for the Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) operating model, and supporting its delivery through an open tender process to enable appropriate suppliers to provide the new solution. We worked in collaboration with HE and RWS, integrating our subject matter experts into the project team. This allowed us to agree a joint security approach which would took into account the different cultural, business, security and legislative concerns that the two partners faced. By working closely with all stakeholders, we determined the existing operational structures, business goals and service requirements. We reviewed UK and Dutch security standards and Governmental requirements and negotiated a joint approach to meet these. Finally, we developed a ‘to-be’ security operating model to meet business requirements for input into ‘Pre-qualification questionnaire’ (PQQ) and ‘Invitation to tender’ (ITT) contract phases and proposed and agreed approaches for the formal accreditation of ATMS. Our security-focused business systems analysis and requirements development led to a detailed set of building block deliverables at functional and technical levels. These included the specific application, infrastructure, hosting and platform components. The completion of this project provided HE and RWS with a pragmatic and realistic view of the threat environment for information assets with a

UK ,

Limehouse Viaduct is an early stock brick Grade II listed structure originally built to support the London to Blackwall Railway, serving the old docks of East London, and now carrying Docklands Light Railway system. The viaduct is punctuated by a number of flat metal deck spans which cross a network of public highways and watercourses. Due to the length of the viaduct structure and differing forms of construction, the project was divided into four packages. Package 1 was completed on time enabling the client to implement the tender process for the site works within the project time scales. Packages 2, 3 & 4 are due to commence following completion of the Package 1 site works.

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In 2009, the NJTA approved a massive widening program for a 50-mile section of the parkway to achieve a 50 percent increase in capacity. Atkins served as program manager for widening activities from interchange 48 to 63 (phase 2) and the structure and drainage improvement projects for future widening at interchanges 30 and 48 (phase 3). Over the course of the project, we coordinated the efforts of more than 1,000 professionals to successfully design nearly $200 million worth of improvements to the existing highway while maintaining traffic flow. The program’s scope included design and construction of a third lane to the northbound and southbound Parkway, widening of shoulders, mainline and local road bridge widening and replacement, existing drainage system replacement, and safety improvements such as roadway lighting, guide sign replacement, storm water management basins, and relocation of utilities. The historic tollway, originally constructed in the late 1950’s, helped usher in a new wave of economic and residential development along the Jersey shore. Through continued investment and improvements, it remains a vital link from the New York state line to the southern tip of New Jersey. The project was recognized by the Project Management Institute (PMI) of New Jersey as 2015 Project of the Year and received the 2016 ACEC New Jersey’s Engineering Excellence Award.

USA , North America ,

The works were predominately undertaken to the bridge’s heavily eroded ornate masonry parapets in the interest of ensuring public safety. Due to the importance of the structure to the town both as an amenity and as part of its heritage, the bridge’s architectural features were also restored as part of the scheme. Staff from Atkins/Waterman, who were seconded into Warwickshire County Council’s Bridge Maintenance Team on the west midlands highways alliance professional services framework, recently completed the repair and restoration of the historic Grade II Listed Willes Road Bridge in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. The three span masonry arch bridge provides one of only three routes over the River Leam, linking the south of the town to its centre and so is a vital and heavily trafficked piece of infrastructure. The structure’s parapets were found to be in a poor condition during a routine bridge inspection with unstable and heavily weathered masonry. Some of the 300mm thick masonry blocks in the parapet were found to have eroded away entirely and so provided little protection for errant vehicles. A scheme was devised and implemented to repair the masonry parapets to ensure the safety of road users passing over the bridge. Due to the structure’s importance in respect to the town’s heritage, it was decided to also restore its architectural features. Extensive research was undertaken to determine the original appearance of the bridge’s original architectural features which included working with the District Council’s Conservation Officers and a local historical society. The source of

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Atkins-Waterman was successfully appointed as the designer in August 2013 with a core Atkins design team co-located in Coventry City Council's offices, along with an Assistant Project Manager seconded into Coventry City Council from Waterman. Complex multi-stakeholder management, including balancing developer, council, public and business and transport requirements during construction and in the final project.  The core team was supported by designers from Atkins’ offices, ensuring the best people were used on the scheme. Through effective collaboration between Atkins-Waterman, the client (Coventry City Council) and the Contractor (Costain), the scheme was delivered on time and within budget. The road was opened under substantial completion in May 2015. To enable delivery, regularly collaborative programme workshops were carried out to develop a lean design and construction programme, prioritising critical elements such as steel beams which had long fabrication lead in times. Weekly progress meetings supplemented with Daily Lean meetings were held to highlight key activities and actions. Alongside this, risk workshops were held to manage project risks and reviewed on a monthly basis. Safety was fundamental to our design, incorporating design features to reduce working at height and adjacent to live highways. The bridge was designed using pairs of braced girders, designed for prefabrication off-site and capable of installation during short night time road closures without temporary works. The scheme also included the relocation of the existing bus terminus outside of the railway station to provide a temporary facility during the development. Working collaboratively, Atkins and Coventry City Council identified the space required for the terminus and

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Products

CIRRUSmaps™

CIRRUSmapsTM  

CIRRUSmaps™ is a flexible web mapping platform that can be integrated with highways asset management systems, enabling a map based view of information such as drainage, accidents, surface defects and signage. Optional route planning integration enables effective planning of highways maintenance.
www.cirrusmaps.co.uk

READY TO DIG

Ready to dig  

Atkins is the UK’s leading provider of utility reports. We also provide a wide range of utility management services across the lifecycle of a project.
www.utilitymanagementsolutions.co.uk/readytodig/

Resources

In this section you can find thought leadership articles produced by Atkins for the roads sector.

Title Format Size
King of the road pdf 384KB
Traffic unjammed pdf 271KB
Roads into the wilderness pdf 172KB
The long and widening road pdf 208KB
Life span pdf 320KB

Locations

For more information on our work and experience in this sector please contact:

UK & Europe

Philip Hoare
Managing director
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1454 66 2566 
Email

Middle East

Phil Malem
Managing director - Transportation & Infrastructure
United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4405 9300
Email

Asia Pacific

Samson Sin
Managing director
China
Tel: +852 2972 1200
Email

North America

United States of America
Tel: +1 800 477 7275
Email

 

Careers

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