Martin Ball

Director of Transportation 021 274 4244 download v-card

Your most interesting projects / accomplishments?

It is always a hard job to whittle down your career CV to just a couple of highlights so I have decided to pick one from the UK and one from New Zealand.

Operation Stack is a temporary traffic management process which is activated when cross channel traffic is disrupted due to strike action or adverse weather conditions. It requires the stacking of HGV’s on the coast bound M20 motorway in Kent to form a temporary truck park whist the London bound carriageway is converted to a 2+2 contraflow layout for all other vehicles. This project dealt with phase 3 between junction 8 and 9 over a length of approximately 20km. The brief was to upgrade the carriageway, verges, drainage, central reserve, road markings and signage to install a quick moveable barrier (QMB) system (as used on Auckland Harbour Bridge). This would be stored on a new hard paved area adjacent to lane 3 and central reserve on the London bound carriageway and be rapidly deployed along with smart blind signing and VMS to form the contraflow system. I was the design manager for the project and had the lead role in liaising with the QMB manufacturer/supplier, Kent Police, motorway maintenance depot and the client (Highways Agency, now Highways England). The project was transformational in the way this process was managed due to the rising frequency of events per year and the associated economic costs and delays. It proved to be very challenging and ultimately very rewarding when it was commissioned and activated for the first time.

My New Zealand project which I feel a great sense of accomplishment for is the SH20 Waterview Connection. I was involved on this in two separate roles during the final 18months of its construction. Firstly as Deputy Design Manager for the east bound SH20 widening works between Maioro Street and Hillsborough Road. This involved the rapid establishment of a design team to review existing traffic data and as-builts followed by liaison with all alliance partners to achieve an aggressive design and construct delivery timeframe. The role played into my previous experiences but also added more complex layers which I found to be very satisfying. The second role following the first was to co-ordinate and oversee the Asset Owner’s Manual and Handover Audits and checklist. This is something I had not previously undertaken but leant heavily on Project and Programme management which I am very familiar with. This role was very rewarding because it taught me a raft of new skills and I got to participate in a project stage I had not been involved with previously in my career.

What you love most about your job?

I love interacting with the people I meet both in the Blue Barn office and out in the client and competitive world. I enjoy constantly moving forward whether that be looking for and winning new work for the team or planning and building the next chapters in Blue Barn’s future.

Why you followed this career path?

I got into engineering because I like the prospect of making positive and rewarding changes to infrastructure to make our journeys safer and more reliable. I now do a lot of Business Development and Client Relationship work which really “speaks” to my inner desire to communicate and make things better.

Your interests outside of work?

Outside of work I enjoy time at the gym, spending quality time relaxing with the family and travelling as much as possible. Film and music also plays an important part in enjoying life out of work.

What or who motivates you?

I am motivated by the “bigger picture”. I love moving forward and exploring new ideas and opportunities

Who do you love to work with?

I love positive and optimistic people who enjoying creating, innovating and improving themselves and their surroundings.