Project: Mercia

Client: IM Properties PLC Principal Contractor: Winvic Construction Ltd
On-Site: May 2020 Earthworks Package Value (Total): TBC
Total Development Area: 960,000m2 Topsoil Strip: 300,000m3
Cut-to-Fill: 1,000,000m3    


Mercia Park is a high-quality 238-acre employment park being created by IM Properties at Junction 11 of the M42 in northwest Leicestershire. The scheme will include six industrial units eventually occupied by several potential major international businesses. It is estimated that over the longer term the employment park will support up to 3,400 jobs in the local area and generate around 170 construction jobs per year during the build phase. This will help to drive economic growth in north west Leicestershire and the surrounding area.

With high standards of building design, Mercia Park will include measures to reduce visual impact, and provide landscaping, amenities and first-class management to deliver growth in the most considerate way.

Working once again in close alliance with Winvic Construction, we have been engaged to carry out the following elements of the new development.

  • Site Clearance
  • Topsoil Strip
  • Bulk Earthworks for plateaus, access road, ponds and bunds
  • Soil stabilisation with binders
  • Helibore stormwater attenuation tank installation
  • Hard dig & processing of U1 material
  • Import of aggregates
  • Pond Lining
  • Topsoiling and preparation of soft landscaped areas for planting

There was a substantial site clearance before the initial first phase of work could be started which was previously carried out in February 2020.

On recommencement in May, our first tasks were to establish compounds and access into site, followed by a site- wide topsoil strip into temporary stockpiles and the construction of perimeter screening bunds.

Back in the planning stages before commencement, using the most advanced Trimble Business Centre software and other BIM technology, we ran a site wide cut and fill analysis to ensure plateaus were at the optimum level enabling us to balance the cut and fill volumes. This sustainable design reduces the requirement of imported, recycled and quarried aggregates to make up shortfalls whilst also reducing the disposal of any surplus to landfill.

The site was then further subdivided into over 1500 individual co-ordinated 25m x 25m grid squares. With great detail and meticulous precision, our team of office-based engineers calculated the volume of cut / fill, maximum depth of cut / fill as well as the no. of layers to be placed in each grid square based upon the Engineer’s specified layer thickness of 225mm. This information along with the material testing specification and requisite sampling frequencies is compiled on a concise “testing grid and regime” drawing which is issued to the principal contractor Winvic, the consulting geotechnical engineer Fairhurst, independent UKAS testing company CTS, as well as our site management team and several of our key operators. This allows Collins Earthworks to monitor production as each grid is completed as well as ensuring every layer is not only tested as specified, but the frequencies and results are checked by our engineers ensuring compliance. This data summary is forwarded on completion of each grid square to Fairhurst for sectional handover and subsequent validation.

For the bulk earthworks we mobilised our brand-new Volvo EC950F of which Collins were the first in the UK to purchase and operate adding to that 3 of our flagship Volvo EC750E excavators, 10 Volvo A60H & A45G all -terrain dump trucks all backed up with pushing power of our 2 CAT D9 dozers. Control of line and level is managed by 9 of our most skilled drivers operating CAT D6T dozers with PATs blades & Trimble 3D GPS machine control. This enables us to place every layer of fill to within specification tolerance as well as giving us millimetre accuracy on finished work. Compaction of fill material is provided by a combined fleet of 14 CAT CS78B smooth drum and CP74B padfoot rollers. In the first 4 weeks of the earthworks we completed an impressive 245,000m3 cut to fill of the site won Class 2 material.

In preparation for the construction of six industrial units, the main spine roads and infrastructure drainage are to be completed to an adoptable standard. Our works will include the installation of 2.3km of helibore storm attenuation tanks and the formation of a network of drainage swales linked to several synthetic lined attenuation ponds.

On the highway works we will construct an extremely durable, high strength pavement made up of a composite cement stabilised class 9E layer and MOT type 1 granular sub-base. All of the aggregate is imported from local limestone and granite quarries which minimises road transport reducing both local road congestion and indirect carbon emissions.

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