From: on behalf of Works Communication Team/EAI/SCC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: 14 August 2019 14:20:36
To: Nikki Barton <Nikki.Barton@surreycc.gov.uk>
Subject: RE: Road works Lower St Haslemere
Dear Nikki Barton
Thank you for getting in touch. Firstly I would like to provide some background on the purpose of this work and the complications this scheme has presented.
The works on Lower Street involve construction of new drainage and are primarily to remove a flood risk to a property where the highways drains pass beneath it, by rerouting our pipes. This involves digging a new pipe through private land in a restricted area, between two houses and a garage parking area, through a retaining wall, along a footpath and to a chamber.
There are a great deal of utility services underneath the road surface (please see below pictures and map) and ultimately it is these services which actually dictate what is possible. Due to the significant amount of underground services the team are using a vacuum excavator as this is a far safer way for our team to remove spoil than a conventional digger. Using this equipment mitigates any risk to their personal safety, which is of utmost importance to us.
We have gatemen present at each end of Lower Street, their role is to remain at either end of the road and ensure the public do not enter the live works site. The area the team are working in is outside of a property called Tisa Cottage. Whilst they may not be visible from either end of the road, I can assure you that the team are on site, working extremely hard on a daily basis and are making progress.
On Monday I was advised that the team had got to a point where they have found the unknown buried pipe and this has determined the level for the rest of the works. Our engineer believes they have found a route through the services to allow installation of the new pipework and the team on site are working towards this. There are difficulties with some of the existing pipes which the new pipes need to be connected to, as they are encased in brick. This may mean that the team have to dig further to achieve the connections or do something a little differently. The excavations are a bit larger than initially hoped for but unfortunately this is unavoidable. Please see attached a copy of the original plans for this scheme which should demonstrate what the team set out to achieve.
Looking at the original plans it is clear that this a particularly difficult site with many utility services, this makes progress slow and the design has to be adapted to suit what is unearthed. The team had previously investigated as thoroughly as possible having camera surveyed the drain runs and used ground probing radar to identify services and hence a probable route for the new pipes, however it is only when the ground is actually excavated that the realities of the situation are revealed.
The equipment being used, the width of the road and the size of excavation required mean that a road closure is necessary. Another reason, that may not be immediately obvious, is that live traffic cannot run too close to the hole due to the pressure that is transmitted to the sides of the excavation by vehicles. We really don’t want to close roads unless we have to and do not make the decision lightly. There are many variables we have to consider including the site operations, the size of the road and the safety of both the travelling public and our work force. For Lower Street this criteria meant a closure.
Please see attached site diaries from the 7 and 8 August which detail work progress with photographic evidence of work taking place. Please be advised these site diaries belong to one individual on site and their start time does not necessarily reflect the time that everyone was on site.
The lead engineer on this project is satisfied with the progress on site. Considering the difficulties the team have faced, they are working extremely hard and going the extra mile where necessary to support the residents living in the works area, whilst carrying out their work to a good standard. I hope this help to reassure you and your residents that work is taking place and progress being made.
In view of the above, I will be updating our road works map pop-out with a PDF document that explains the work and has pictures of our progress so far. I hope that this will highlight to the public the challenges the team have faced on this scheme and the extent of works being carried out. I’m hoping that explaining what we are trying to achieve will justify the length of time we need for this work and why it is essential that the road is closed whilst we carry out the work.
I would be very grateful if you could direct your residents to the information on roadworks.org and if there are further queries please could they be sent to us in the Works Communications Team.
Works Communication Officer
Works Communication Team
Tel: 01483 404618