The Stockport Interchange project is an ambitious undertaking that aims to breathe new life into Stockport’s town centre by enhancing connectivity and access. A town with bags of potential, this development is crucial in its planned transformational change.
Joining forces with clients Wilmott Dixon and Transport for Greater Manchester, renaissance has been hard at work on the many structural elements of this expansive project. In this case study, we’ll be exploring the challenges and innovative solutions adopted in designing the bridgescape – a shared footpath and cycleway that seamlessly connects the interchange rooftop park to the nearby Stockport train station.
What is the Bridgescape?
The bridgescape is a beautifully landscaped public walkway that links Stockport Interchange with the train station, offering uninterrupted access for local residents and visitors alike. Stretching 200 meters, this route will improve connectivity across the interchange project while also adding to the aesthetic grandeur of the area.
We took on the design at RIBA stage 2 with the aim of engineering solutions which made the project as buildable as possible, removing design constraints and streamlining delivery.
The Challenge of the Bridgescape
The topographical challenges in both plan and section required some pragmatic thinking to adapt their concepts, providing deliverable solutions which met the brief and budgeting requirements whilst retaining the aesthetic.
Buildability is an integral part of our DNA as engineers and the logistical challenges of this site allowed us to test our skills in this area – positive progress on site is testament to our success on this project.
How renaissance simplified the Issue
Constantly finding a path towards the most efficient solution, with our focus on buildability and understanding of sequencing with associated temporary works, we adapted the retaining wall design, using the ‘temporary’ sheet piles and integrating a concrete capping beam for a larger stretch of the bridgescape, enabling easier and safer access for plant and materials, and derisking the works for the contractor.
Working with the Bridge Abutments
The picturesque cycleway eventually meets a sleek bridge structure spanning 40m across door bank onto the interchange rooftop park. The bridge design itself was a collaboration with OPS structural engineers and SH structures as the fabricators. The bridge abutments were wholly our responsibility and included specialist bearings requiring full access for future inspection and maintenance. Founded on piles, these in situ concrete structures required close coordination with all parties to accommodate the strict tolerances required for the bridge itself.
Managing Key Interfaces
Navigating through a maze of nearby infrastructure, we had to manage several key interfaces with highways, network rail, British telecoms service ducts, and other landowners, showcasing our adaptability and problem-solving skills.
Understanding how to design and deliver what was needed while working in conjunction with these constraints was key to the success of this project.
Renaissance’s dedication to efficiency and practicality truly shined in this project. By making the combined footpath and cycleway, bridge and associated abutment buildable by integrating the temporary works as permanent works, we saved both time and resources. Collaborating closely with the main contractor, we developed and refined solutions that were efficient, buildable, and beautifully integrated into the Stockport Interchange development.