As you are aware the Lower Thames Crossing is currently undertaking aseries of ground investigations and surveys at locations throughout North Kent and Essex to help improve proposals and to develop Highways Englands’ application for the Development Consent Order.
WHAT ARE HIGHWAYS ENGLAND (HE) DOING?
Digging shallow trenches to assess the archaeological features of site.
Before digging the trenches, HE will undertake non-intrusive electromagnetic surveys to detect any sub-surface anomalies such as utilities, waste and unexploded ordnance. This is a standard health and safety requirement.
WHAT IS INVOLVED?
Mechanical excavators will be used to dig shallow trenches approximately 30 metres long and 2 metres wide.
Before digging the trenches, a magnetometer (detector) attached to an all-terrain utility vehicle will be used to scan the area.
HE will be excavating the soil to look for archaeological features and HE will replace the soil once the excavations are completed.
Noise level will be comparable to that of farm machinery, such as a tractor.
WHERE WILL THE INVESTIGATIONS TAKE PLACE?
The locations for the trial trenches will mainly be on private farm land on or near the proposed route.
The work may be visible from nearby roads and properties.
WHEN WILL THE WORK TAKE PLACE?
The second phase of these surveys will start in April 2020 and continue until October 2020. Most of the work will take place Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm with the possibility of some weekends.
HE will also be sending letters to residents who live in the close vicinity of the works with the information above. You can find further details on where and when these surveys will be taking place on the HE website including answers to some frequently asked questions.
GROUND INVESTIGATIONS SURVEYS
HE will also be commencing their next phase of ground investigation surveys which will mainly involve cable percussion boreholes and requires a 7m tall frame lowering drilling tools up to 60m. To find out more on Ground Investigation techniques please visit thededicated page on the HE website
HE are fully supporting the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic in following their policy that construction activity should continue where it can be undertaken in accordance with the Public Health England and Industry guidance. Highways England has reviewed site works on the Lower Thames Crossing project and has reduced current works to essential survey and investigation work only.
A number of their activities across the route have been postponed whilst they undertake reviews on how they can be carried out in full compliance with the guidance and recommendation available. Some work, such as Archaeological Trial Trenching, is continuing in accordance with method statements that are in full compliance with all current guidance.
We will keep you informed of any further amendments and developments as we here from the LTC Community Engagement team.
Higham Parish Council