Engineering scheme up for transport award

A major engineering scheme which saw the main road between Street and Glastonbury rebuilt and resurfaced in just eight days has been shortlisted for a prestigious transport award.

Somerset County Council’s work to repair the A39 Causeway during October half-term is in the running for Transportation Project of the Year at the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) South West Awards.

The A39 Causeway is the key strategic link between Sedgemoor and Mendip and required major reconstruction work with 78 visits to fix potholes in the previous two years.

A road closure was required to keep the workforce and public safe, but this would clearly have a considerable impact on the road network.

The innovative engineering solution was in-situ stabilisation using resin injection combined with ‘traditional’ resurfacing to minimise the closure time. This was combined with a comprehensive communications strategy to keep local people and businesses up to date – both before and during the scheme.

Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This scheme was a huge success and attracted very little negative feedback from the public because everything went so smoothly.

“Not only was there the challenge of designing a suitable engineering scheme to rebuild a busy A road in the shortest time possible, but we also had to ensure the public were kept fully up to date so they could adjust their plans.

“We started this months in advance with press releases, social media activity and through updates sent directly to more than 300 individual stakeholders. We also used the @TravelSomerset Twitter account and website to provide rolling commentary on progress.

“The A39 Causeway carries 24,000 vehicles a day and it’s remarkable that we received just six queries and complaints while work was underway.”

The scheme will go head to head with the South Bristol Link Road and Plymouth Coach Station for the CIHT SW award, with the winners announced at a glittering ceremony in Torquay this Thursday.

You can relive the story of how the A39 Causeway scheme unfolded at