Dorset Council highway engineers have worked hard to limit the construction impacts of building the Principal Street in Gillingham.

Wirtgen soil stabiliser mixer on site
Wirtgen soil stabiliser mixer and stabilised soil

During the initial work for the new 1.3km residential road, specialist equipment stabilised 8,000m³ of material – saving the disposal of 16,000tonnes of waste soil and the need for around 16,000tonnes of new, raw material.

As well as the benefit of reusing and repurposing the material already available in the construction area, this method saved over 1,500 lorry movements – reducing emissions associated with the project, and minimising disruption for local drivers.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “Although climate change is a huge global challenge, Dorset Council is committed to helping tackle this growing danger by reducing the environmental impact our projects have.

“We’re also continuing to expand our walking and cycling network to encourage sustainable travel in residents’ everyday activities. This this new road will have shared-use walking and cycling paths along its length, on both side of the road, to help the new homeowners to stay active and reduce their carbon footprint.”

Soil stabilisation works consisted of a two-stage treatment of the clay-based soil on site to create a solid subbase layer for the road construction. It’s a method recognised for its environmental benefits.

Firstly, the process uses specialist equipment to add binders to modify the soils and reduce moisture to aid compaction. The second stage bonds the soils to enhance their strength.

On top of the environmental savings, around £280k will have been saved on the cost of transporting waste soil from site and the purchase of new material. This stabilisation method is also quicker than a traditional process, helping to reduce the construction timescale.

Gillingham southern expansion is set to deliver 1,800 homes plus a new primary school, health facilities, sports pitches, play areas, shops and open spaces.

A successful bid to Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) granted £6.31m to fund the design of the road, secure planning approval and build the road through the development.

This money will be recovered through Section 106 developer contributions from the expansion which will be reinvested in housing projects across Dorset.

Upcoming road closure

The B3092 near Gillingham is closing from Tuesday 1 March for around six weeks while work is carried out to connect the existing road into the new Principal Street construction.

There will be no through access, with the road closed between the bridge over the River Lodden at Madjeston and the Cole Street Lane junction.

A signed diversion route will direct drivers to use the A30 and travel via Shaftesbury to reach their destination; B3092 – A30 – B3081 – B3092.

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