New Lower Thames Crossing – Archaeological Trial Trenching beginning soon

Residents’ Association councillors received the e-mail below from Highways England at the end of last week. We will continue to update you with any further information.

‘We are currently undertaking a series of ground investigations and surveys at locations in Thurrock, Havering and Gravesham. These surveys are helping us improve our proposals and develop our application for the Development Consent Order.

I am writing to let you know about the next phase of these investigations involving Archaeological Trial Trenching. This will begin in the next few weeks, starting in Thurrock.

What are we doing?

We are digging shallow trenches to assess the archaeological features of a site. Before we dig the trenches, we 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?

Before digging the trenches, we will scan the area using a magnetometer (detector) attached to an all-terrain utility vehicle. We will use mechanical excavators to dig shallow trenches approximately 30 metres long and 2 metres wide. We will excavate the soil from these trenches to look for archaeological features. We will replace the soil once the excavations and investigations are complete. The noise level of these investigations is similar to a tractor or other farm machinery.

Where will the investigations take place?

The locations for the trial trenches are mainly on private farmland, on or near the proposed route alignment. The work may be visible from nearby roads and properties.

When will work take place?

The first phase of these surveys will start in November 2019 and continue until March 2020. Most of the work will take place Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm, with the possibility of some weekend working.

We provide further details on where and when these surveys will take place on our website, as well as a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section.’

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