Going underground to tackle run-off

09/10/2019
Chris Ames

Highways England has constructed a tunnel under a busy road with minimal disruption to traffic as part of a pioneering scheme to cut pollution.

The trial project involves installing underground drainage pipes under the A38 at Dean Burn in Devon along with a filtration pond filled with engineered soil to trap oil and metal residue in the water running off the busy road.

Video released by Highways England shows how small-scale tunnelling equipment was used to dig the modified drainage channel under the A38 while vehicles travelled above unaffected.

Project manager Michelle Reed said: ‘This is the first time we have used this machinery in the South West and it’s been such a success we have completed the tunnelling ahead of schedule and only two overnight lane closures have been needed.’

The scheme is funded through the government-owned company’s designated environmental funds. Highways England said that if successful, the system could be rolled out at other locations on the strategic road network.

Potter’s Wood, a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), sits right next to the road. Earth excavated from the pond and tunnel is being used to create bug hotels, butterfly scrapes and bee banks to benefit biodiversity.

Ms Reed added: ‘Our Designated Funds programme was developed so that we can invest in projects beyond our traditional road build and maintenance, and this is a glowing example of how this funding can have a positive impact on people and communities.

‘The filtration system provides a physical barrier to polluted water, then chemical and biological mechanisms work in combination to break down even more pollutants. It also has the advantage of taking up far less space than other treatment systems, which makes it very cost effective.

‘When completed, this work should significantly improve the quality of water running into Dean Burn and help to support the local environment and its wildlife.’

The project has been designed by Kier and delivered by South West Highways.

Highways jobs

Vehicle Technician x3

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
All Candidates must hold a clean category C driving licence (CPC not required). Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938.0 per annum
Primary locations will include Clacton and Harlow only. Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part tim England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

Durham County Council
£148,583
You will manage a range of front-line services including bins and waste, transport, environmental health, technical services, partnerships and... Durham (County)
Recruiter: Durham County Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
Looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to work and a good team player. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Head of Programme Management Office

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
As the Head of PMO, you will define and maintain standards for project management within the Highways Service. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Manchester City Council

Highways Development Specialist

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
Seeking a highly capable strategic leader to join the team to develop our strategic pipeline of works and financial model. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Manchester City Council

Civil Engineering Technician Apprentice

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£214 per week
Are you looking to gain vital work experience as an Apprentice? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Assistant Planner/Planner

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £32,878
The ideal candidate will already have... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
The successful candidate will... Liverpool, Merseyside
Recruiter: Liverpool City Council

Environmental Health Officer (Food, Health & Safety) & Environmental Health Technical Officer

Dacorum Borough Council
£24,710 to £39,034
You will be highly motivated and be expected to deliver against a challenging work plan. London (Greater)
Recruiter: Dacorum Borough Council

Director of Inclusive Growth and Public Sector Reform

West Midlands Combined Authority
£110,000
The role requires someone with a talent for innovation and a passion for designing and implementing public services. West Midlands Region
Recruiter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Director of Public Health

Worcestershire County Council
Competitive Salary
We’ll look to you to take responsibility for the high-calibre delivery of... Worcestershire
Recruiter: Worcestershire County Council

Street Cleansing Operative Driver (Large Goods Vehicles)

Redbridge London Borough Council
£22,377 to £23,607
We are looking to recruit staff for both our day service and evening service. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Street Works Officer

Enfield London Borough Council
£29,766 to £30,708
he Network Coordination Team are looking for an enthusiastic self-motivated person to join its Street Works Team. Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Enfield London Borough Council

Traffic Management Group Manager

Devon County Council
£61,593
This is an exciting time for the Service with the immediate introduction of a new Permit scheme and significant programme of redesign and... Devon
Recruiter: Devon County Council

Senior Technical Officer (Highway Assets & Infrastructure)

Newport City Council
£30,507 - £33,799 pa
The post holder will report directly to the Assets and Infrastructure Team Manager and will provide a technical lead on... Newport (Casnewydd)
Recruiter: Newport City Council

Principal Engineer (Highway Safety)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer (Highways Operations)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer (Highways Structures)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer (Street Lighting)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue
  • Highways England at Westminster
  • Traffex Scotland and Bridges Scotland guide
  • Highways Awards winners
View the latest issue

Latest Video