VolkerHighways completes A339 Sandleford scheme

VolkerHighways has successfully completed a major infrastructure project, along the A339 in Newbury, on behalf of West Berkshire Council.

The project, which began in October 2020, involved widening the A339 on both sides, between the Pinchington Lane Roundabout in Newbury and the entrance to the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Works also included the construction of a new traffic signal-controlled junction, connecting the A339 to the new Highwood Copse Primary School.

The new link road was officially opened to all traffic on Tuesday 4 January, ensuring easy access for the school and access to a potential residential development site.

As part of the project, the team installed a new drainage system and relocated multiple underground utility services.

With safety always front of mind, the business identified safe working areas for the workforce, alongside the carriageway. The team installed a temporary steel barrier system, which provided an easy-to-move solution and a temporary pedestrian crossing, enhancing safety for both the workforce and the travelling public.

Throughout the scheme, VolkerHighways suggested innovative solutions to increase efficiency, while reducing costs. VolkerHighways worked with West Berkshire Council on a number of design changes, especially on the drainage. This included using plastic pipes, instead of the specified concrete, to reduce manual handling issues and future maintenance.

To help meet the targets set in VolkerHighways’ People-Planet-Purpose sustainability framework, some of the subsoil and topsoil was re-used on site, reducing haulage trips and providing significant cost savings for the council. Additionally, a design change was made to the footway construction, which included the re-use of 2,000t of recycled subbase.

In October, the project was showcased as part of Build UK’s Open Doors Week. A total of 82 students, across five groups from Newbury College, were invited to take a ‘behind the scenes’ look into the project and hear about the career opportunities available within the construction industry.

Jonathan Ullmer, project manager for VolkerHighways, said: “We are delighted to have completed this project three months ahead of programme, keeping disruption to a minimum and minimising costs for West Berkshire Council. Throughout the project, we faced multiple engineering challenges, due to the large amount of utility apparatus, and it’s thanks to our highly skilled team that workable solutions were found, and zero utility strikes occurred.”

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