Pushing technology to improve safety and capacity on the A453

Tetra Tech provided engineering services to support the A453 Improvement Scheme in addressing heavy congestion and a very poor accident record. The upgraded four-lane highway spans eight miles between Junction 24 of the M1 in Leicestershire and the A52 in Nottingham.

Completed in July 2015, this Highways England scheme has successfully provided:

  • 9 new bridges
  • 2 grade separated junctions
  • 3 roundabouts
  • a traffic signal-controlled junction
  • modern highway traffic technology systems.

Collaborative working

Our involvement in the project began at a very early point when we undertook preliminary design work. This involved consulting stakeholders and the public, preparing land acquisition plans and providing expert advice during the Public Inquiry.

At detailed design stage, all elements of highways, drainage, geotechnics and structures were undertaken by our team. We built on relationships with key stakeholders and continued detailed consultations to facilitate the preparation of the full construction drawings and specifications that enabled the project to move forward.

During this design process, we successfully addressed Highways England’s key project objectives by:

  • increasing capacity
  • improving safety
  • making provision for other road users, including cyclists and pedestrians
  • mitigating environmental impacts

Our ecologists assessed and monitored the site right from the start of the project. We also analysed potential risk to protected species and devised mitigation measures for the water voles, badgers and bats identified as being present around the development area.

During construction, we deployed employees on-site in the role of Designer’s Site Representatives. This has ensured works have been carried out in accordance with the drawings, specifications and works information.

Making a difference

Asked what has defined our involvement in this project, Richard Brown, Director, Tetra Tech, said: ‘We have worked collaboratively with Highways England, Laing O’Rourke and our design partners to develop a project that provides innovative solutions to challenging problems. The use of BIM and pre-fabrication for the bridge design has exemplified our desire to push the boundaries of technology and lead on innovation.”

“We were also very proud of the feedback at public inquiry where the client, the Inspector and members of the public indicated that our approach to public and stakeholder consultation had been excellent.”


The project has won some significant industry awards, including the Major Project Award at the Institution of Civil Engineers East-Midlands Merit Awards (EMMAs), a commendation for Team Achievement at the EMMAs, and an Excellent award for CEEQUAL ‘sustainability’.

Services Provided

Highways Design

Related Expertise

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