Cost of Underpasses

Adnepos
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Cost of Underpasses

Postby Adnepos » 17 Feb 2017, 9:58pm

My council has decided that a planned underpass for a busy road will not, after all, be built because they have been told that it will be expensive. See

http://www.elystandard.co.uk/news/counc ... _1_4887776

The additional cost is attributed to the need to install pumping. The Netherlands is low lying and I read that their underpasses are often pumped

http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/20 ... s-for.html

I had been in contact with the engineers and hoped that the engineers any glitch would have explained and the options explored before putting to the Council. So am raising a bit of a fuss.

Please cast light on why the Dutch can build pumped underpasses but not Cambridgeshire. Don't remind me the Dutch spend 25GBP/head compared to less than 1.50GBP here. I am on local radio Monday morning so would be very grateful for insight -not conspiracy theories -got plenty of my own.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Vorpal » 17 Feb 2017, 10:45pm

DfT have introduced new guidance on designing for cyclists http://www.standardsforhighways.co.uk/h ... ian195.pdf

You might find something useful there.

Also, see if others in your area are working on this? Are you part of Cycling UK's campaign network?
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atlas_shrugged
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby atlas_shrugged » 17 Feb 2017, 11:56pm

My understanding is that the path/cycle way already exists. It is not especially brilliant for cyclists - you would not want to take your prized road bike along this route. It is more of a route for MTBs.

So why no underpass for the cyclists? The Ely paper clearly shows a very expensive underpass being built for fish and river traffic. So why not an underpass for the pedestrians and cyclists along the parallel (to the river) neighbouring cycle route.

They are not planning the new road they are building to flood. So it is just a question of making the height of the new road to allow it to clear the cycle path without having a pump i.e. make the cycle path (and new road) high enough for it not to flood.

It seems to me the Cambridgeshire planners are gutless. How about considering the 10M hit (to the country) every time a pedestrian or cyclist gets killed.

Cambridgeshire could cancel the useless 1.5Billion upgrade to the A14 and would then be able to afford to build many many underpasses.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby mjr » 18 Feb 2017, 12:40am

The A14 is central government's agency's budget, not Cambridgeshires, but yes, moving some money around wouldhelp.

In response to the council saying cycling levels there are low, I'd say it's currently an awful route and quote whoever it was said you don't measure the demand for a bridge by the numbers currently swimming across a river at that point.
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pwa
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby pwa » 18 Feb 2017, 10:53am

Pumping seems to me to be a dodgy way to engineer that sort of thing. Too reliant on machinery that has to be maintained. Much better, surely, to raise the road so that the underpass does not have to dip down. But to the main point, it is a bit sad that modern infrastructure does not give non-motorised traffic as much consideration as motorised.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Vorpal » 18 Feb 2017, 12:15pm

Maybe they could build a bridge? I mean they should have some engineers, right?
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Barks » 18 Feb 2017, 1:42pm

Keep the pressure on them to use to £330k in the original budget to support other cycling/walking projects in the area.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby psmiffy » 18 Feb 2017, 2:11pm

pwa wrote:Pumping seems to me to be a dodgy way to engineer that sort of thing. Too reliant on machinery that has to be maintained. Much better, surely, to raise the road so that the underpass does not have to dip down. But to the main point, it is a bit sad that modern infrastructure does not give non-motorised traffic as much consideration as motorised.


looking at the scheme drawing it is all on embankment - i couldnt tell exactly where the underpass was to go - but it is a simple and relatively cheap thing to put an armco tube through an embankment to form an underpass

Ive attended quite a lot of scheme meeting in my capacity as a Design Engineer - (actual proposals were not my remit) - but I have often asked informaly why cycle facilities were not included in schemes (especially now that the visibility requirements lead to the construction of roads with very wide verges) - the answer has always been that traffic counts of cyclists don't justify them

Edit - looking at the drawing again the obvious place that an underpass would be require the embankment is not very high - having dug a fair few holes out that way it is probable that building an underpass would be relatively expensive - and a long term maintenance liability - overpass would probably come into the budget - design would be as near as damnit off the shelf - would need piling but standard bridge beams and approaches

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Adnepos » 18 Feb 2017, 2:32pm

Yes, the highway needs to be back to ground level at the eastern roundabout, which is where the pedestrian/cycling traffic best crosses the main road. To effect an underpass at the embankment would be a bit of a detour. Any form of crossing would not be safe -and would likely hold up the motorised traffic. A bridge for pedestrians and cyclists would be the logical solution.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Vorpal » 18 Feb 2017, 2:42pm

psmiffy wrote:Ive attended quite a lot of scheme meeting in my capacity as a Design Engineer - (actual proposals were not my remit) - but I have often asked informaly why cycle facilities were not included in schemes (especially now that the visibility requirements lead to the construction of roads with very wide verges) - the answer has always been that traffic counts of cyclists don't justify them

That is an absolutely mind-boggling answer.

First, in my experience they *always* underestimate the numbers of cyclists. When I've asked, Essex CC, at least, have never been able to produce an evidence except the DfT traffic counts. DfT traffic counts are on trunk roads, and they are typically made during normal working hours, plus driving time to/from the office, so, betwee 9:30 and 14:30. Although they do occasionally count at peak times, the majority of data is collected during the day. DfT counts don't include cyclists using facilities or pavements. Only those on the carriageway.

I did one count at a junction where ECC werre using Dft numbers (1 cyclist for every approximately 12000 motorvehicles), and I found that the numbers of cyclists were more than 100 times the volumes using DfT counts.

Even on a shared use facility where manual counts had supposedly been done, a 'squirrel' camera found that numbers had been significantly underestimated.

Secondly, if they take that attitude and fail to design for cyclists, well, they will insure that never are any cyclists. :roll: They should justify the efforts by the cyclists they *want*, not the cyclists they already have. (yeah, I know; don't poke that one too hard).
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby MikeF » 18 Feb 2017, 3:35pm

I think you will find £1million is actually peanuts in the cost of road schemes. How much did the road itself cost for example? An underpass for £330K sounds unrealistic to me. It's worth finding out, ie by asking your council or other means, just how much road alterations and schemes that you see taking place actually cost. For example I found that removing the traffic islands that protected cyclists and calmed traffic :evil: at Three Bridges and a bit of fencing and other work on this short stretch of road cost £230K. The alteration of the camber to this bend was £30K and I couldn't see or notice any difference.
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby psmiffy » 18 Feb 2017, 3:42pm

Vorpal wrote:
First, in my experience they *always* underestimate the numbers of cyclists.


Not my experience - Typically a 12HR count - when it was done manually

Vorpal wrote: Secondly, if they take that attitude and fail to design for cyclists, well, they will insure that never are any cyclists. :roll: They should justify the efforts by the cyclists they *want*, not the cyclists they already have. (yeah, I know; don't poke that one too hard).


That was the point i normally made after receiving the answer - build it and they will come - however, even the provision for infrastructure for cars is based on "need" not "want" - until a significant number of the population start to vote with their bicycles nowt will change

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby MikeF » 18 Feb 2017, 9:51pm

psmiffy wrote:
That was the point i normally made after receiving the answer - build it and they will come - however, even the provision for infrastructure for cars is based on "need" not "want" - until a significant number of the population start to vote with their bicycles nowt will change
It's based on want and also predict and provide. The problem is there aren't predictions for cycle use, and many people seem to "want" to be stuck in motorised jams if there isn't an alternative to free flowing vehicle movement even when distances are short. Unfortunately people sitting in traffic jams don't see themselves as the cause of the problem. :wink:
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby mjr » 18 Feb 2017, 10:40pm

There are now some predictions for cycling. I don't think they work well for places like Ely but take a look because I can't right now. http://PCT.bike
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psmiffy
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby psmiffy » 19 Feb 2017, 9:07am

MikeF wrote:The problem is there aren't predictions for cycle use


Totally agree - there isn't a model for how cycle use will grow (there probably is but it is not in any design guidance) - until enough people start voting with their bikes policy will not change - at least at the last election several of the parties did publish a cycling manifesto - but I think only the Conservatives mentioned money - and the sums were pretty paltry - and the whole thing wasn't exactly very high on the agenda - as a counterpoint I cycled in Germany for the months before a General Election - the roads were festooned with posters of the candidate - at least 60% showing them with their/a bike - I was accosted on several occasions by people at the hustings - lost interest as soon as they realised that i was a foreigner and didn't have a vote :D

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