The North Bexhill Access Road is the latest and final piece in a regional infrastructure improvement programme on the south coast of England. The project is one of 12 strategic growth corridors identified under the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) and by connecting the Combe Valley Way (Bexhill to Hastings link road) to the A269 Ninfield Road, delivers a significant strategic transport link. Providing this link will unlock land and opportunities to be utilised for local business developments (up to 50,000m²) and up to 1,175 new homes.
The main contractor began works on site in July 2016 and the road is due to open later this year. Located on greenfield land, the scheme required a considerable environmental design input. This was achieved using a Strategic Environmental Design Appraisal that identified key receptors, and likely impacts. These were then ameliorated over a series of design reviews. The resulting design used the rolling landscape in the area to effectively shield the road, reducing visual impact. Use of considered planting and landforms reduced the impact further. CampbellReith’s transport, infrastructure and environmental teams helped to ensure that full Planning Permission was obtained in an appropriate timescale.
CampbellReith also provided full highway design services for the route including 2.4km of carriageway, three roundabouts, three stopping up orders, five large culvert crossings and full SuDS scheme, including balancing ponds, are provided to ensure that the proposed run-off from the new highway fall within both Environment Agency and LLFA requirements from quantity and quality of discharge.
One of the main challenges was to provide a cost effective design solution to cross the Coombe Haven (Main River watercourse) which has peaty alluvium to 8m bgl. Working closely with a team of external specialists, our geotechnical team developed a combined System of geosynthetics for both foundation, reinforcement and drainage supported by Controlled Modulus Columns has proved the answer for marginal soil to provide an innovative cost effective solution.
The foundation layer, designed according to BS8006, was designed using Paralink. Paralink reinforcement was placed at formation level to prevent shear failure both in the embankment fill and in the foundation soil, improving the embankment stability.
CampbellReith has provided client support throughout the project, from the initial feasibility study in 2014, through to the full planning application and EIA production process in 2015, to continued site support during the construction phases including submission of the necessary Section 278 and Section 38 highway packages to ensure the scheme is suitable for future road adoption.
Due to the positive impact that this scheme and the wider Hastings and Bexhill projects is likely to have on local regeneration, the area has attracted high political interest with previous visits from the Prime Minister and Home Secretary.
For any queries, questions or comments on any of the scheme elements, please do not hesitate to contact either Chris Stanyard or Simon Boots in our Surrey office.
Images: before and after images, reinforced embankment, CMC installation