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soil stabilisation Gillingham
The process of soil stabilisation.

Dorset Council says its highway engineers have worked hard to limit the construction impacts of building the Principal Street in Gillingham.

During the initial work for the new 1.3km residential road – part of the Southern Extension development  – specialist equipment was used to stabilise 8,000m³ of material.

This  saved the disposal of 16,000 tonnes of waste soil and the need for around 16,000 tonnes of new, raw material, the council says.

As well as the benefit of reusing and repurposing the material already available in the construction area, this method saved more than 1,500 lorry movements – reducing emissions associated with the project, and minimising disruption for local drivers.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: ‘Although climate change is a huge global challenge, Dorset Council is committed to helping tackle this growing danger by reducing the environmental impact our projects have.

‘We’re also continuing to expand our walking and cycling network to encourage sustainable travel in residents’ everyday activities. This this new road will have shared-use walking and cycling paths along its length, on both side of the road, to help the new homeowners to stay active and reduce their carbon footprint.’

Soil stabilisation works consisted of a two-stage treatment of the clay-based soil on site to create a solid subbase layer for the road construction. It is a method recognised for its environmental benefits.

Firstly, the process uses specialist equipment to add binders to modify the soils and reduce moisture to aid compaction. The second stage bonds the soils to enhance their strength.

Wirtgen soil stabiliser mixer
A Wirtgen soil stabiliser mixer.

On top of the environmental savings, around £280k will have been saved on the cost of transporting waste soil from site and the purchase of new material. This stabilisation method is also quicker than a traditional process, helping to reduce the construction timescale.

Gillingham’s Southern Extension is set to deliver 1,800 homes plus a new primary school, health facilities, sports pitches, play areas, shops and open spaces.

A successful bid to Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) granted £6.31m to fund the design of the road, secure planning approval and build the road through the development.

This money will be recovered through Section 106 developer contributions from the expansion which will be reinvested in housing projects across Dorset.

* The B3092 near Gillingham is closing from Tuesday 1 March for around six weeks while work is carried out to connect the existing road into the new Principal Street construction.

There will be no through access, with the road closed between the bridge over the River Lodden at Madjeston and the Cole Street Lane junction.

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