Proposed Lower Thames Crossing – Utility trial trenching surveys starting

As part of the ongoing ground condition surveys, Highways England are starting Utility Trial Trenching (UTT). This phase of works will begin in March and continue across Havering and Essex until August, subject to any necessary approvals.

The roads scheduled to be affected in Havering are:

Ockendon Road, North Ockendon – Trial holes. Lane closures with temporary traffic lights. (7 days at night-time)

St. Mary’s Lane, Upminster – Trial holes. Lane closures with temporary traffic lights. (7 days at night-time)

A127 at junction with M25 (J29) – Trial holes. Full road closure. (2 days at night-time)

Folkes Lane, Upminster– Trial holes. Full road closure. (3 days at night-time)

Highways England have provided the following information –

What will they be doing?

They will be carrying out the works using a vacuum excavator and, at times, hand-digging to ensure safety of the services. The vacuum excavator uses compressed air to loosen or agitate the ground, which can then be removed using the vacuum on the machine.

What to expect?

Their priority is to carry out this programme of work in a way that will have the smallest possible impact on the community. They will work with all the relevant Local Authorities to reduce any disruption that may be caused and to obtain the necessary approvals and works will only commence following such approvals.

  • The works may cause some disruption, but they will ensure that they put mitigation measures in place in order to reduce noise.  
  • All access to properties will be maintained throughout the duration of the works.
  • At times there will be lane closures with two-way traffic lights in place. This is required for the safety of both the work force and road users.
  • Where it is not possible to carry out the works under lane closures, they will have to install road closures. These will be done at night-time only with a fully signed diversion in place. Additional communications will be sent to local residents regarding specific road closures.
  • The working hours will take place during day time between 9.30am and 3pm, Monday to Friday or carried out at night-time in high traffic areas, between 8pm and 6am, Monday to Friday.

Please visit the Highways England website for more details on the UTT surveys, including some FAQ’s.

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