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Students go underground with GRAHAM Construction

A group of students from Hugh Baird College were given an insight into the construction work taking place beneath Great Howard Street thanks to Principal Contractor GRAHAM Construction.

The students are all working towards the Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Construction at Hugh Baird College and were invited to visit the site during the early stages of the project, which involves replacing a weak bridge on one of Liverpool’s busiest roads.

Great Howard Street Bridge, and the adjacent tunnel, support one of the main arterial transport routes between Liverpool City Centre and the Docks. Constructed around the 1850s, the structures are redundant railway bridges designed to provide access from the former Waterloo Goods Yards railway siding. The work to replace Great Howard Street Bridge is an important part of the City’s infrastructure developments, including the Liverpool 2 Deep Water Container Terminal, which will substantially increase the number of abnormal loads travelling through Liverpool.

Stephen McFaul GRAHAM Construction Project Manager said:

Today’s visit was just one of the many community-based projects GRAHAM Construction will deliver through the duration of the A565 Great Howard Street Project. As well as providing a number of career talks, we will also engage with local universities giving the opportunity to visit the project, give career advice on the Construction Industry and the opportunity to ‘shadow’ staff in order to have a candid view on roles. Wherever possible we shall endeavour to provide the platform to talk about what it is like to work for GRAHAM and what a career in the Construction Industry is actually like.

After a briefing on health and safety, the students donned their hard hats and were given a tour of the site. They were told about the composition of the existing bridge and shown some of the original cast iron arch beams that still hold the structure up today.

James Leeming from Liverpool City Council commented:

Today was a great opportunity for our Supplier, GRAHAM Construction, to demonstrate their approach to the project. I was pleased to see so many students on site, asking the right questions, and hopefully thinking that a career in Civil Engineering would be something they would like to do in the future.

Lecturer in Construction and the Built Environment at Hugh Baird College, Andrew Blackmore, said:

It’s a real privileged for the students to have had access to this project. Many of them are aiming for careers in structural and civil engineering so the Great Howard Street Bridge is a perfect example of the type of scheme they would be working on out in industry. It’s a huge benefit to their studies for them to see it first-hand and hear about how the scheme will be undertaken.

Student Mathew Wills said:

The visit was really relevant to what we’re learning on our course. We found out how the bridge and tunnels were constructed more than 200 years ago and what remedial work has been done on them since. It was good to hear about the methods they employed to construct them and then the modern engineering that will replace the bridge to future proof it.

Trevor Cherryholme from Amey who addressed the students added:

It was a pleasure to speak to the students to outline the preparatory work that goes into a project of this nature before works can commence on site and to explain the role of Amey the designers, in the delivery of this project. It was also encouraging to see so many young future engineers embarking on what I hope will be an exciting and successful career for them.

There are also plans to extend the links with GRAHAM Construction allowing as many students as possible to benefit from the company’s expertise in the industry. Groups from joinery, brickwork, tiling and painting and decorating courses may be given the chance to apply for work experience opportunities with GRAHAM Construction, giving them a great insight into the careers available to them and preparing them for industry.

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