Wildlife-friendly road-scheme wins gold award

16 May 2016
One of the most complex UK road schemes in the South West, has created a lasting and positive image of a highways construction site by winning the gold 2016 Considerate Constructors Award.
Grassland species on ecology visit to A380 construction site. Ramboll

Grassland species on ecology visit to A380 construction site. Ramboll

Ramboll. Andy Bell.

Andy Bell

Highways Director
T: +44 7501 495 204
Malcolm Robertson. Ramboll

Malcolm Robertson

Principal Ecologist
T: +44 23 8081 7500
Stephen West. Ramboll

Stephen West

Head of Ground Engineering, South
M: +44 7918 690 883

The South Devon Highway project involved many partners and engineering challenges to create new roads and improved infrastructure to relieve congestion around the former A380, between Newton Abbot and Torbay. Ramboll provided engineering and design services involving highways, structures, gantries, geotechnics, environmental and landscaping.

Judges said: “Efforts carried out by the environmental team go way beyond expected levels and clearly show real respect towards areas affected during the project. …Such measures included the rehoming of lizards and grass snakes, the creation of flight path guidance for bats as the land profile changed, and close attention to maintaining the ecological balance of all watercourses. These measures were matched by a highly efficient programme of recycling and energy conservation.”

Ramboll’s ecologist, Malcolm Robertson, said: “The project was designed from the outset to consider wildlife, and incorporates features such as a bat house, badger tunnels, a fish pass and log piles to provide habitat for reptiles. The soft landscaping involved translocation of soils containing grassland species including orchids and hedgerows to new locations in the highway estate. The landscape design was carried out with consideration of wildlife, using native species to create new areas of habitat for foraging birds, bats and other mammals.

Commenting on the sustainability objective to re-cycle as much excavated material as possible within the A380 scheme, reducing lorry movements, Stephen West, Ramboll’s Technical Director of Ground Engineering said: “We worked with all project partners to demonstrate that soils originally classified as unsuitable for re-use in the scheme could actually be used as a construction material to form the new roads. Enhanced site testing and vigilance by the site construction and design teams meant that 1.5million cubic metres of material and excavated rock were re-used in road earthworks and to create stone facing on bridges and retaining walls. This resulted in17,800 fewer lorry trips to dispose of soil off site and a significant reduction in the amount of materials imported to the project.”

Galliford Try, along with Devon County Council and Torbay Council, collected the award on behalf of all those responsible.

This is the third year that the project has been recognised at the awards. 2016 is the first time it has won a gold award; silver status was awarded in both 2014 and 2015. Details of other awards won by this project can be found here.

Project details

Aller Tunnel, A380 road scheme in Devon UK, designed by Ramboll. Photo: Devon County Council

A380 South Devon Highway

The South Devon Link Road Project was one of the biggest construction projects and one of the most complex highways schemes in the South West. Involving many partners and engineering challenges, the project has received awards for considerate practices that show respect to the community and the environment.


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