Looking after our motorways

27 Aug , 2015  

GSJ Maintenance holds the contract for maintaining and managing 169km of Irish motorways.

Ireland’s motorways have brought our island into the 21st century as reaching any part of the country from the capital has become far more accessible.

However, the motorways need constant care and attention to maintain the standard that we have become accustomed too and this task is left to a specialist firm that take great pride in the work.

GSJ Maintenance Ltd have held the contract of maintaining and managing a network of motorways and dual carriageways around Dublin since the National Roads Authority first put it up for tender a few years ago.

In total, GSJ Maintenance Ltd must look after 169km of motorways and dual carriageways which includes slip roads and junctions. This covers the M1, M2, M3, M7, M9 and M11 all of which are in the greater Dublin area.

GSJ Maintenance Ltd is the brainchild of three major companies in the infrastructure development and management market. They are Spanish companies Globalvia and Sacyr along with Irish based Jons Civil Engineering Ltd.

The operations depot is located in Balbriggan, while they also have offices in Castleknock and Sandyford. Globalvia Ireland General Manager is Kevin McGrath and he heads up GSJ Maintenance and it was Kevin that spoke to us for this month’s edition of Building Ireland.

“We are a couple of years into the contract now and it runs for five years and we would be confident of retaining that tender when it comes up for renewal,” said Kevin.

“We take great pride in the work that we do, which sees us being responsible for maintaining all the radials coming out of the M50. The Celtic Tiger produces an impressive road network and now the aim is to maintain these roads to the highest standard possible.

“Our tasks involve grass cutting, incident response to resurfacing works, a 24hr accident response unit, winter service which includes salting and gritting the roads, inspection and maintenance of pavements, drainage, structures, bridges, signage and safety barriers. We also respond to any incidents on the network, including emergencies and repairs to damaged sections of network; provide severe weather response and winter maintenance service; collect and manage asset data within the inventory management system; undertake improvement, rehabilitation and renewal works. All aspects of roan maintenance are covered.”

GSJ Maintenance Ltd employ 41 people and all are highly trained in their respective areas. “Any employee that comes to us is trained up before they go out on the motorways.

“Health & Safety is a major issue for us and the welfare of our employees is paramount. We also place a huge emphasis on the safety of motorists and try to ensure that all the roads we cater for are safe to drive on 365 days of the year.”

Kevin revealed that during the summer months more man power would be used than in the winter time when their wide range of machinery comes into extensive use.

“Yes, during the summer, we would be relying more on the man power as grass cutting, strimming and the likes would be high on the list of priorities.

“During winter, gritting and salting the roads would see more machinery out. Two years ago, we purchased an extensive fleet of modern machinery, which is kept in pristine condition. At our depot in Balbriggan, we have storage facilities that can hold up to 20,000 tonnes of salt. This covers a number of areas, while we also operate a second facility for the National Roads Authority where another consignment of salt is kept.

Traffic management is an integral part of the service provided and Kevin added that this was an area that they specialised in.

“If there is an accident and there is debris on the road, our dedicated response team will be at the scene in minutes and they will cordon off the area and ensure that it is a safe environment for the emergency services to work in.”

GSJ Maintenance Ltd just cater for the roads under their contract and this does not include the tolls, but Kevin concluded that they were always kept busy 12 months of the year.

“There is always plenty to be done. With so many kilometres of roadway to be catered for, every day throws up a different challenge and unfortunately, we are called out to far more accidents that we would like to be, but we just have to deal with them accordingly. Thankfully, there doesn’t be much serious injuries and a lot of the accidents are just minor bangs with no one serious hurt. As I said, it is up to us to make sure that the roads are kept safe as possible for all concerned.”

GSJ Maintenance Ltd
Co Dublin.

Taken from Building Ireland magazine Vol 1 No 1, Autumn 2015