• Balfour Beatty

    Forder Valley Link Road - New Junction Construction and Improvements

    Plymouth, United Kingdom

Project Summary

Improving Traffic Flow in a Growing Area

The Forder Valley Link Road is a new link between the A38 highway and the area north of Plymouth. The roadway serves as a key infrastructure project, unlocking growth and accommodating the new residential, leisure, retail, and health facilities planned over the next 15 years. The GBP 52 million project includes a new bridge, roundabouts, and a raised signal junction. The road link will also improve traffic flow and access for pedestrians and cyclists. Balfour Beatty is the main contractor and faced challenges when looking to manage diversions and maintain the flow of traffic throughout construction—all while avoiding public impact.

Overcoming Project Complexities

To meet all the project challenges, Balfour Beatty realized that it was imperative to simulate the construction sequence based on a 3D BIM model. In addition to the complexities of this project, the Forder Valley Link Road needed to be completed by the summer of 2023, as it is a critical part of an infrastructure package that will meet the city council’s growth aspirations. The city is planning to build 4,300 new homes and a new district development of shops and community, leisure, and health facilities over the next 15 years. In addition, the road will help improve access to a local hospital and a direct route for buses coming from the east. Therefore, they sought advanced construction modeling and simulation technology.

Creating a 4D Model for Enhanced Project Visibility
Having used Bentley applications on previous projects, Balfour Beatty selected ProjectWise to share information among all stakeholders. It became the central repository for all project information. They also selected SYNCHRO 4D, which helped them establish a 4D model and digital workflows. With SYNCHRO's powerful construction modeling tool, they were able to create an optimal construction scenario that would minimize impact on the public and improve traffic flows. The model also helped assess how additional traffic from future developments could be managed. Using Bentley software, they generated a high-quality animation close to real-world textures and digitally presented their solution.

Streamlining Stakeholder and Public Approvals

By creating the 3D model using Bentley applications, Balfour Beatty optimized stakeholder review. The model was then presented to the public in the autumn of 2016, and its digitally immersive environment made it easier for people to see how the new infrastructure would positively impact the local community. The roadway will help directly deliver 600 houses and 1,800 jobs to the area. The project is currently in the construction phase and is expected to be complete in summer 2023.

Project Playbook: MicroStation, ProjectWise, SYNCHRO 4D

Outcome/Facts
  • The Forder Valley Link Road is a new link between the A38 highway and the area north of Plymouth, including a new bridge, roundabouts, and a raised signal junction.
  • With SYNCHRO 4D, they established a 4D model and digital workflows, determining an optimal construction scenario that would minimize impact on the public and improve traffic flows.
  • The project is currently in the construction phase and is expected to be complete in summer 2023, helping deliver 600 houses and 1,800 jobs to the area.