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Gravesend Cycle Hub

Gravesend Cycle Hub

Gravesend Station Rathmore Road Gravesend Kent DA11 0HP

Value:  £832,136
Start Date:  22nd February 2016
Completion Date:  18th October 2016
Duration:  34 Weeks
Contract:  NEC3

Walker Construction (UK) Limited was commissioned to undertake a design and build project constructing the Cycle Hub located on Rathmore Road, Gravesend.  Walker Construction acted as the Principal Contractor for these works. The Cycle Hub was erected within the land of Network Rail which became an asset to Train Operating Company Southeastern Rail.
The Gravesend Cycle Hub provided a package of measures developed in partnership with Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), Kent County Council, Gravesham Borough Council and local charity Cyclopark Trust, to facilitate and encourage cycling as a preferred means of transport in the local area.
The funding delivered a cycle hub, offering: cycle maintenance, repair, sales and hire with Brompton bikes. With electric bike charging facilities available too.  The Hub has a secure covered compound with swipe fob entry system to enclose 180 cycle spaces.  A further 44 standard spaces are available for those who wish to park their bicycles quickly to catch the train.
The facility is well lit with CCTV coverage.  Signage is displayed both sides of the station and on the highway, linking the station to the town centre and Cyclopark; a purpose built facility for cycling and other outdoor activities.
The construction of the Cycle Hub commenced in February 2016 and included various construction phases detailed below.
Walker took ownership of the site and commenced excavation activities of the existing embankment. Excavation works were overseen by an Archaeological Watching Brief (AWB).
Placement of concrete foundations consisting of raft, strip and pad foundations.  Then the reinforced concrete wall built up from the raft foundation was constructed.
The steel structure was then erected utilising a crane.
Perimeter scaffolding was installed to allow the fixing of the glazing to the perimeter of the Cycle Hub and the automatic sliding doors.
Next the roof which consisted of metal decking, plywood with a Falzinc covering to complete the installation.
Construction of the tenancy area on the end elevation of the Cycle Hub commenced.  This consisted of a beam and block floor and a timber roof covered Sarnafil. The internal walls were plastered, the floor screeded and a stud package installed, finished with tiling Altro flooring. The internal finished surfaces were then painted.

  • The front elevation of the tenancy area was constructed using a curtain walling system.
  • The foul and surface water drainage was then put in. 
  • The Electrical ducting and chambers to the surrounding foundations were installed, linking back into the operational platforms of the station. 
  • GRP flooring was placed within the Cycle Hub including a fix it stand, air pump and Sheffield stands.  To the underside of the Cycle Hub two tier rack were mounted along with a further fix it stand and air pump· 
  • Within both the Cycle Hub and the tenancy area electrical containment, distribution boards, lighting, CCTV, CIS and emergency exit arrangements were installed and commissioned 
  • Externally to the structure access steps and ramps were installed, various different types of paving, weld mesh fencing, perimeter fencing, tarmac surfacing, lighting bollards, under croft lighting, wall lighting and CCTV to the underside of the Cycle Hub within close proximity of the bike storage.
  • Anti-graffiti film was placed externally to the glass and internally manifestation and logos were placed.
It was challenging to start the project on site with no construction drawings as the works developed quickly putting pressure on the designers to produce the drawings. Walker Construction’s in house design division WSS Construction Consultants were the Principal Designers for this project.  
One of the first issues encountered was finding a suitable location for the new soakaway which was 34 cubic metres in size.  Upon excavating the proposed location of the soakaway an old trestle and harp platform and other existing foundations left below ground level were found. This meant a new location had to be found within the very tight confines of the site.  During a trial hole to ascertain a new location the historic train turn table was found (under the supervision of the AWB).  Eventually a location was found, to enable the installation of the soakaway the orientation of the soakaway was adjusted to suit the available space.
Procurement of the steel for the steel structure proved challenging, in particular obtaining the 60mm x 60mm x 8mm  SHS secondary floor beams.  These had to be imported from the far East, transported to the United Kingdom, rolled and delivered to the subcontractor.  This added additional timescales to the procurement duration.
During the fabrication process and especially the installation, the interface between the steel structure and the glass was very challenging.  The detailed design process which the subcontractors were assisting us in closing out had to be monitored very closely.
The excavation works were value engineered as Walker were able to find a solution to mitigate the need of sheet piling and the temporary works design process.  This was achieved by battering the embankment during the works.
Another saving was made as originally the floor to the Cycle Hub was proposed to be a concrete composite floor.  This would have required piling as the foundations would have been under substantial loadings.  Walker Construction replaced this with a GRP deck removing the requirement for piling to transfer loadings through the foundations.
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