Highways & Urban Design

Working on projects ranging from junction improvements through to multimillion pound major schemes, the team carries out highways design and construction supervision throughout the city.

The work includes; feasibility studies, outline designs, inspection and maintenance, estimating and bill of quantities, production of tenders and contracts, procurement of contractors and consultants, site supervision and s278, s38, s106 agreements.

The team is made up of engineers with varying experience and skills including graduates, technicians and senior members of the team. They are involved in the design and delivery of many aspects of highway works including, as well as the major schemes, installing new crossing points to improve pedestrian safety, cycling infrastructure and traffic calming to help reduce vehicle speeds. These changes are carried out to improve safety for more vulnerable highway users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

A cyclist on the Eastern Corridor cycle road
Urban Design Memorial Square, Portsmouth

Highway Maintenance

Highways Maintenance comprises the management of all assets on the highway. The client team works with the contractor Colas who have a 25 year PFI maintenance contract with the council and the team has to ensure that the contractor delivers best value in everything it does.

The team comprises technical as well as commercial and contractual specialists. We have inspectors and contract administrators who deal with aspects of the PFI contract as well as queries, requests and reports from the general public.

The city is about to enter the last few years of the PFI (Private Finance Initiative) contract, so in addition to managing the day to day business, the team will be on a journey to “PFI Expiry” and the implementation of a new mechanism for maintaining the road network throughout the city.

Contracts and Project Management

The Contracts and Project Management team delivers major capital works in support of the council’s ambitions for growth and regeneration from inception through to construction.

Key functions of the team include the delivery of major civil engineering projects as well as consultant, contractor and contract management. The team supports others through its business assurance function which includes health and safety, quality control and training, in addition to project management and technical expertise.

The team is made up of people with mixed backgrounds in project management, construction and engineering.  As well as managing the project, members of the team lead on procurement, contract and commercial management.

The team has delivered a variety of construction based projects over the years and these have helped to positively transform the city for residents, businesses and visitors.  Examples of these schemes are:

  • A new motorway junction and park and ride
  • A new transport hub at The Hard
  • Demolition and reconstruction of road over rail bridges
  • A deeper and longer berth at Portsmouth International Port to accommodate larger cruise vessels
  • The replacement of the city’s street lighting stock to LED luminaires
  • A new cruise terminal building
The Park and Ride bus station in Portsmouth

Coastal and Drainage

The Coastal and Drainage team are making a real difference in Portsmouth. Current major schemes being delivered by this team while working alongside our Coastal Partners includes the £150M Southsea and the £50M North Portsea flood defences. This is helping transform the city and, through the provision of award-winning design and construction, is protecting the city against future storms and sea level rise.

The team works closely with Southern Water and with our highways maintenance contractor Colas, to protect the city during heavy rainfall. Recent major investment and surface water separation has led to a significant reduction in incidents of flooding. They are also supporting the city’s green strategy through the provision of rain gardens and attenuation linked to trees and shrubs.

The team monitors ground water tables and has statutory functions around surface water management and flood protection strategies.

The Southsea Coastal Scheme has been highly commended in the sustainability category in the 2023 Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards.

The team is committed to being a zero-waste construction scheme, developing its own waste processing site to achieve this goal. At this site, all concrete and stone from the old sea defences is processed and reused as fill material for new sea defences and road raising. This will prevent sending 92,000t of waste to landfill, avoid 24,600 lorry movements to remove the waste, and save 3,950t of CO2 – a 98% reduction compared with landfilling!

So far the Southsea Coastal Scheme has installed 58 tide pools to enhance marine life. These concrete pools are designed to create ecosystems that mimic natural rock pools found on rocky coastlines. The team also works with Natural England to provide mitigation measures to protect the overwintering Brent geese and the endangered purple sandpiper birds.

Read the award submission.