HS2 has opened the first 11-mile stage of a 50-mile-long temporary access road, that will link construction sites across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and South Warwickshire and take pressure off local roads.
The road is being built through HS2 Ltd.’s main works contractor, EKFB - a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall and is designed to carry around 400-500 vehicles every day. This will be utilised to help get people, equipment, and materials to rural construction sites quickly and efficiently.
This section will help take HS2 vehicles off local roads for the final stages of their journeys and relieve pressure on the roads around Edgcott and Gawcott. Further sections, to the north and south, are expected to be completed in the coming weeks. This will come ahead of a major increase in the amount of earthworks activity over the summer as the focus turns to building the cuttings and embankments that will carry the railway.
HS2 Ltd Project Client Rohan Perin said:
“The completion of the first stage of the Temporary Access Road is a really important milestone as work continues to ramp up across the central section of the HS2 route. In rural areas it can be a major logistical challenge to get people, materials and equipment to all our sites and a headache for local road users. That’s why I’m looking forward to the completion of the next stages and the benefits it will bring to both the project, and the local community.”
Throughout the construction process, EKFB will be shifting 30 cubic metres of materials, which will then be excavated and reused for local embankment works and landscaping. This keeps to the HS2 projects ambitions to use environmentally friendly methods whenever possible, continuously championing the aim of being net-zero carbon from 2035. Another example of these practices was seen recently via the Canterbury Road Vent Shaft site in South Kilburn becoming the first of many future diesel free construction sites.
EKFB Senior Project Manager, Juan Rodriguez, said:
“The temporary road, which is supporting the build of HS2 and a section of the East West Rail line, will help ease traffic and congestion around the surrounding villages and provide an efficient way to move people and materials around the site quickly and in the shortest distance. Eventually, we’ll be able to transport these things between all EKFBs sites.”
Once construction is complete the road will be removed, with the areas alongside the line landscaped and planted with new grassland and woodland. Some sections of the road could also be repurposed to provide useful transport links for the local community.