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Early collaboration reduces carbon footprint on a major strategic route

The A556 is a major strategic route, carrying approximately 51,500 vehicles daily, with HGVs contributing approximately 11 percent of this figure. Early collaboration with design partners and the supply chain realised carbon reduction and cost saving benefits.

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Highways England

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Capita Symonds

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Advisory and concept development
Complex project delivery

Key benefits


tonnes of carbon savings

Reduced number of lorry movements due to reduction in material requirements

Reduced number of high risk lifting activities

The A556 is a major strategic route, heavily used by traffic travelling between south Manchester and northern Cheshire going to the West Midlands via the M6 motorway. It is the only non-motorway section on the route between Manchester and Birmingham. The A556 carries approximately 51,500 vehicles daily, with HGVs contributing approximately 11 percent of this figure.

During the preliminary design stage, a structured option report determined that a precast reinforced concrete design would be the most suitable solution for seven of the project’s over bridge structures. During a value engineering exercise at the start of the target cost design, our designer considered various types and configurations of reinforced concrete bridge beams before concluding that ‘W’ shaped beams provided a more economical solution to more traditional ‘Y’ shaped beams, in terms of cost, weight and carbon.

This scheme is one of the first Highways England projects to make use of this design which has saved 1,725 tonnes of concrete equating to savings of 324.3 tonnes of embodied carbon. In addition, the design has reduced the number of lorry movements to and from site saving 119.53 tonnes of embodied carbon bringing the total savings to 436.35 tonnes.

Contact and social


Ann-Marie Morrison, Client Delivery Director

[email protected]