A285 safety improvement project wins environmental award

Once called ‘Britain’s most dangerous road’, safety improvements have now led to an award for the A285.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 4:20 pm
The A285 safety improvement project has won a Green Apple Gold Award for environmental best practice
The A285 safety improvement project has won a Green Apple Gold Award for environmental best practice

The A285 safety improvement project has won a Green Apple Gold Award for environmental best practice.

An innovative construction method, utilised by Balfour Beatty Living Places in the county council scheme, was central to the award-winning success.

Roadside safety edges were built between Halnaker and Petworth to give people more chance of staying on the carriageway if they lost control of their vehicles.

The work being carried out

But road planings, soil and other materials removed to make way for the new edges were not wasted – they were recycled, significantly reducing the scheme’s carbon footprint and environmental impact.

In all 6,375 tonnes of materials were recycled and re-used in the improvement project, instead of being sent to landfill.

Compared to typical schemes, this method prevented more than 60 tonnes of CO2e emissions.

Roger Elkins, county council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, congratulated the project team from West Sussex Highways and its contractor, Balfour Beatty Living Places.

He said: “This award is a tribute to the team’s hard work, which showcased environmental best practice and resulted in a safer road for all users.

“Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Lloyd Allen, principal operations manager for Balfour Beatty, West Sussex, said: “Balfour Beatty Living Places was delighted to be involved in the A285 Highways Safety Project.

“We are very pleased our efforts in working in partnership with the West Sussex team have produced the fantastic results of reducing ultimate scheme costs whilst recycling all of the arisings excavated from back into the works.

“Ultimately we are very proud to have collected the prestigious Green Apple Gold Award in recognition of these efforts.”

The new safety edges were created by planing and excavating a 1metre-wide strip along the existing carriageway and verge.

The road planings, soil and other materials were then taken to the council’s highways depot at Drayton.

There they were processed to separate the various parts, including stone, sand and soil, put into a recycling machine and a binder added to the reusable material to harden it through a reaction with water.

This ‘hydraulically-bound material’ was transported back for use in the construction to refill the trench before the new surface was laid.

Traditional construction methods involve excavating to a depth of half a metre; the strength of the hydraulically bound material allows for a shallower depth of material, saving time and costs.

The scheme was funded through a £2.4million award from the Department for Transport’s Safer Roads Fund and was completed in September 2019.