Utility Trial Trenching surveys on the Lower Thames Crossing
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We’re currently undertaking surveys of existing underground utilities at locations throughout North Kent and Essex.
These surveys will help us plan utility diversions where they would be required to build the Lower Thames Crossing and will help us to improve our proposals and to develop our application for the Development Consent Order (DCO).
This phase of surveys will continue until early 2021. Details of the activities and what you can expect can be found below.
What we will do
We will be carrying out the works using a vacuum excavator. At times, we will also use hand-digging to ensure safety of the services. The vacuum excavator uses compressed air to loosen or agitate the ground, which can then be removed using the vacuum on the machine. The two types of methods we will be using are:
Trial Holes – The vacuum excavator is used on both the road and the walkways where an operative will park the excavator in a safe location to carry out the work. If the work is being done on the road, there will be traffic management installed, including full closures or lane closures with temporary traffic lights in place (the detail is outlined below). Where access is needed onto the walkway, a diversion will be in place for pedestrians. Each locations will take between 1 and 3 shifts to complete. We will be doing the majority of the works using this method.
Non-invasive Investigations – In addition to the trial holes, we will be identifying utility features, surveying them and opening chambers. Where possible, these will be completed under the traffic management for the trial hole works, however, in some cases we may need additional traffic management to complete these.
What to Expect
Our priority is to carry out this programme of work in a way that will have the smallest possible impact on the community. We have been and are continuing to work with all the relevant Local Authorities to reduce any disruption that may be caused and to obtain the necessary approvals:
- the works may cause some disruption, but we will ensure that we put mitigation measures in place in order to minimise noise. Due to the nature of the works, there will be flashing lights which are used on our works vehicles for the safety of both the workforce and the road users.
- all access to properties will be maintained throughout the duration of the works.
- at times, there will be lane closures with two-way traffic lights in place. This is required for the safety of both the work force and road users.
- where it is not possible for us to carry out the works under lane closures, we will have to install road closures. These will be done at night-time only with a fully signed diversion in place. Additional communications will be sent to local residents regarding specific road closures.
- the working hours will take place during day time between 9.30am and 3pm, Monday to Friday or carried out at night-time in high traffic areas, between 8pm and 6am, Monday to Friday.
- please note that the duration of works may not be of consecutive days or weeks.
- if work is going to take place next to residential properties, we will write to those properties in advance to let them know what is happening and when.