The Challenge:

Kier prepared parts of Edinburgh for the installation of rails and other equipment so that trams, not seen in the city for almost 50 years, could return.

This included identifying and diverting utilities such as water, gas and electricity from the 3km city-centre route, where the trams would run. A gas main in Princess Street and a strategic water main in South St Andrews Street were just two of the major installations which needed diverting as part of this work. But the greatest challenge for the team, was managing the volume of diversions – the original estimate of 400 quickly rose to 1,500 actual diversions when work started because of the congested nature of the site.

The Solution:

Kier’s multi-disciplinary team mobilised within seven days from the contract being awarded so that work could start on the site straight away. The experience of the team on similar projects enabled them to stay within budget and hit key milestones, despite the changing scope of the work.

An important aspect to the project was managing traffic, in conjunction with the council, so that access for the public and to homes and businesses were maintained.

The Kier team co-located with the council’s permissions team to help build strong relationships and jointly resolve complex matters impacting stakeholders. They also worked closely with the main utility companies, particularly Scottish Water and Scottish Power Networks. 

The Impact:

The project was delivered on budget and to timescales, despite the significant change in scope.

Access for the public, businesses and homes was maintained at all times. To minimise disruption to local businesses and residents, the team worked 24 hours a day on critically important utilities on more than 40 occasions. Both time and approximately £60,000 was saved by using a digitally-based contract change management system to control design changes. Edinburgh Council was awarded a light rail award for bringing the tram project to completion meeting the revised timetable and budget.

Kier was subsequently awarded work in future phases of the project relating to street furniture, street lighting and signage.

" I very much recognise that the transformation and ultimate delivery of the Edinburgh Tram Project was down to the hard work of all involved. "
Sue Bruce Chief Executive Edinburgh Council

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