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What’s Happening

What’s Happening This Spring

Our appointed contractor, Winvic Construction Ltd, is making good progress having completed the initial site clearance to remove the existing unsafe buildings and vegetation. The digging of trial holes to identify any existing services and service diversions for overhead electric, gas, water, drainage and comms has also been completed. Ecological improvements involving mitigation measures to enable enhancements for the species to be made including hedge translocation and badger sett relocation are now finished.

Over the next few months, you will start to see the following activities on site:

  • Commence construction of M1 Junction 15 improvement works – initial earthworks involving stripping of topsoil and cut and fill earthworks at J15 of the M1.
  • Main earthworks for the distribution building plots – this will involve water management operations, stripping of topsoil and cut and fill earthworks to create plateaus for the main distribution buildings.
  • Development access road – earthworks for the corridor of internal link roads and roundabouts to the building plots. This will take place within the site boundary.
  • A508 access roundabout and dualling – works to upgrade this route will start in March 2021 with initial earthworks to extend the existing embankment and build the roundabout. Works will be mostly offline with minor off-peak two-way traffic lights to protect the workforce when working up to the existing carriageway.
  • Traffic management – overnight, off-peak lane restrictions will commence in March 2021 and will continue through the year. You can read more about this.

As part of our earthworks strategy, our aim is to transport as little excavated material from the site as possible as part of our commitment to reducing HGV movements on local roads and to minimise the impact on the environment. The material that we move will help to create ‘bunds’ around the perimeter that will help to screen the development along with the extensive landscaping programme with over 80 acres of parkland and amenity grassland, 18km of footpaths and cycleways, 20km of hedgerows and planting of 60,000 new trees.

Geotechnical Investigation at Roade Bypass Rail Bridge

As part of the Roade Bypass construction, a new road bridge across the West Coast Main Line will be built to the north of Bailey Brooks Lane Bridge. To inform the detailed design of the structure, some further ground investigation is required. These works will commence towards the end of February 2021 and will continue for up to six weeks. You can find out more about the timescales for the opening of the bypass in the FAQs.

The works will be carried out during daylight hours only and will be accessed from the A508 to the north of Roade village. A tracked drilling rig, similar to the that shown below will be used to drill holes up to 25m deep to confirm the ground conditions.

A temporary entrance off the A508 has been created to provide safe access to the area where the site compound is located providing designated parking, electric charging points and welfare for those working on the site. You may see the road sweeper which is employed full time to keep the nearby roads clean following all deliveries to site.

Noise and Dust monitoring requirements have been agreed with the local authorities and will be monitored throughout the project. You can read more about how we are planning to minimise disruption and manage our impacts in the Traffic Management section below and in the FAQs.

You can view the timeline of works here and this section of the website will be regularly updated as the status of the works progresses. We will also be providing further updates via regular newsletters and this website.

Traffic Management

To protect the workforce, from March 2021 onwards, there will be some overnight lane restrictions between 20:00hrs and 06:00hrs. These are due to continue throughout the year to complete works on the A45 and M1 Junction 15. The works will be carried out overnight to prevent disruption to traffic with all lanes fully open during the daytime. Click here to see the Traffic Management sequence diagrams.

Some public right of ways and footpaths will also be closed throughout the duration of the works for safety reasons. Permanent diversion routes will be established around the perimeter of the development at completion. You can view the Pedestrian Route Alterations here.

Towards the end of 2021, there will be increased traffic management put in place to enable the reconfiguration of Junction 15 of the M1 to be completed and traffic will start to be moved onto the new junction configuration. This will either replace or supplement existing traffic management to ensure that there is a smooth flow and to minimise any disruption. We appreciate any work in the public highway can be frustrating and would like to apologise in advance for any disruption – we will be getting through the works as quickly and as safely as possible.

We would like to reassure you that we will work closely with the highways authorities to ensure any disruption is minimised and we will keep you regularly updated of any potential impacts. Highway works have been planned in co-ordination with Highways England and Northamptonshire County Council and will be reviewed on a regular basis during the project.

If road closures are required, diversion routes will be put in place and we will notify you of these in advance. For the latest traffic management information see Traffic & Travel.

We are working closely with the team at Highways England who are constructing a ‘smart motorway’ on the M1 between Junctions 13 to 16, which will convert the hard shoulder into a fourth traffic lane. This is a separate scheme and will be delivered during 2019 through to 2022. Please refer to Highways England  for further information.

Archaeology, Ecology and Site Investigations

Site preparation for the main infrastructure works, involving extensive ground investigations, archaeology and ecology works are almost complete. The final results are being compiled and submitted to local records centres and are available to the public from those sources.

Archaeology

The Museum of London Archaeology Northampton is nearing completion of the archaeological excavations. These are being monitored by the archaeological advisor to Northamptonshire County Council. Once completed, the results will be collated in a publicly available publication report.

Ecology

Ecologists from FPCR Environment & Design Ltd. have completed the ecological surveys and are now beginning mitigation measures to enable enhancements for the species to be made. This will include hedge translocation and badger sett relocation. The results of the surveys have been submitted to local biological records centres and are available to the public from that source.

Ground Investigations

The geotechnical investigations within the main site have now been completed. Similar geotechnical investigation on the new Roade bypass is due to commence within the next 6 months to allow design works for the new road to be completed. The scope of the investigation will employ a number of different techniques, including wheeled excavators, tripod drilling rigs as well as more specialist equipment mobilised on tracks. All of this equipment is designed to investigate and recover samples of the soils present, down to depths of 30m. Samples will be taken for logging and testing.