Yorkshire and Lincolnshire based building, civil engineering and structural steelwork contractor, Britcon has started works on the toll plaza canopy that will house new, state-of-the-art toll collection technology on the Humber Bridge.
This represents a significant milestone for the £5.5 million project which, when completed next year, will allow drivers to cross the iconic bridge via electronic payment and reduce disruption to millions of users each year.
Britcon is currently undertaking full infrastructure works for the project on behalf of Sociedad Ibérica de Construcciones Eléctricas (SICE), a world leading specialist consulting with the Humber Bridge Board on intelligent transport and environmental control systems.
Andy Newell, Bid Manager at Britcon said, “The existing toll collection system was installed in 1981 and as such the technology was becoming obsolete and high maintenance. The new and innovative collection system will include one of the first open road tolling arrangement to be installed in the UK, where vehicles do not need to stop while driving through the toll plaza. They are billed through electronic methods via tags tied to a Humber Bridge toll account.”
‘HumberTag’ allows the customer to register for a toll payment account where a small tag is placed in the windscreen of the vehicle and read each time the customer passes through the toll booths. Toll values are debited from a pre-registered account. This means that drivers can pass straight through without interruption. The new facility will also reduce the number of booths from the existing six, to three in each direction with automatic barriers.
Britcon is contracted to manage the decommissioning of the existing toll provision, supply and install a temporary toll system during the construction process and design and construct the new facility in its entirety. This includes major alterations to the existing highway and open road toll lanes, construction of the toll plaza housing structures and collection system, signage and lighting, as well as mechanical and electrical services.
Andy Newell continues, “The project is a major undertaking that requires extensive expertise in civil engineering and structural requirements to house world leading technology. Our experience on such projects has allowed us to draw upon the specialist resources within the Britcon group and we are delighted to reach a more visible stage with the erection of the canopies. This represents a ‘half way point’ on the project which will be rolled out over autumn 2014/spring 2015. Despite the scale of the project we have maintained a delivery programme that is on time and on budget with minimal disruption.