Bolton bound passengers arrive in style with new Interchange

The new £24m transport interchange for Bolton opened to the public on Sunday 3rd September. As an integral part of Bolton’s Newport Street Gateway Regeneration and Town Centre Transport Strategy, the interchange provides a step change in quality facilities provided for passengers including better customer information, enhanced waiting and ticketing facilities and a light, bright and safe environment.

The new interchange offers enhanced accessibility with a modern concourse and passenger facilities including retail units, cycle hub, shop mobility, café and modern public toilets including adult and baby changing facilities. It directly connects bus and rail services via a Skylink pedestrian footbridge improving transport links and access to the town centre.

Procured via the North West Construction Hub framework, successful delivery was made possible due to the whole team, including client, designers contractor, subcontractors and stakeholders working collaboratively towards a common goal. This was imperative in such a technically and regulatory challenging work environment.

With the site being in such close proximity of the live railway, just 5m away, health and safety was, as always, of upmost importance. The project was completed safely, achieving 400,000 man-hours without a reportable accident.

Faced by a challenging working environment the team worked together to develop effective construction solutions and complete the works safely and within agreed timescales. These included:

  • The design and construction of a precast bus deck: Using value engineering the team decided to change the original design of the frame from in-situ concrete to precast. Doing so allowed a strong certainty of completion to programme. The structure had to accommodate 210 bus departures per hour. Installing the precast concrete frame required meticulous planning in order to minimise any possible disruption to Network Rail. This included working to full Network Rail procedures for ALO, line blockages and rail possessions being carried out overnight.
  • The construction of the Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene (ETFE) roof: The interchange has been constructed with an air inflated roof system formed from clear plastic to allow natural daylight into the station, helping to reduce electricity usage. This was a challenging element in both design and construction as the team had to work to tight tolerances for the interface between the ETFE roof structure and the building’s steel frame.

The use of building information modelling (BIM) has played a key role in this collaborative environment, with the technology employed extensively across the project. Using BIMxtra software, Kier incorporated typical site proforma sheets to produce an App which was used to input real-time progress reports into the project BIM model whilst out on site, undertaking daily inspections.

Developed initially to help Kier record the progression of concrete beams and pile caps, this recent innovation has now been developed to capture other types of site information such as QA meaning the team were able to report any necessary rectification work immediately to the relevant subcontractor.

“Construction of the Bolton Interchange was the largest and technically most challenging of the three interchanges we’ve undertaken in partnership with TfGM through the North West Construction Hub. We’re very proud to be handing over to the people of Bolton what we hope will prove to be a superb facility for many years to come.” John O’Callaghan, Managing Director at Kier Construction Northern 

“The opening of Bolton Interchange marks the culmination of a lot of hard work and I’d like to thank everyone who’s been involved in the delivery of this new site. By offering these enhanced facilities, we hope many more people will choose public transport for their journeys.” Councillor Guy Harkin



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