ICE Members visit Sadlers Farm Project

A group of 25 members of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) recently paid a visit to view the ongoing construction works at the junction of the A13 and the A130 known as Sadlers Farm Junction in Essex.

The £63.6 million project is being undertaken by Birse Civil Engineering for Client Essex County Council and was recently featured in the New Civil Engineer magazine.  A copy of the article in pdf format can be viewed by clicking the cover image below.

click image to open pdf in new window

The works are intended to relieve one of the busiest junctions in Essex and it survived recent cuts in highway investment partly by the good fortune of becoming part of the Olympic Route Network when the Mountain Biking venue moved to nearby Hadleigh Country Park.

The works involve creating a strategic link between the A13 and the A130 bypassing the existing junction.  This requires the construction of three new bridges over the strategic link – Sadlers Farm Bridge and Sadlers Hall Bridge for the necessary eastbound off and on slips and London Road Bridge to carry the existing ‘old’ A13 over the link.  These 3 bridges are highly skewed.

The A13 is being widened to 4 lanes in each direction between Pitsea Flyover and the junction  necessitating the construction of a new Church Road Bridge and the extension of a subway.  The A130 is also being widened to 3 lanes in each direction also requiring an existing subway to be extended.  Finally the existing arrangements of mini roundabouts around the existing junction is being modified and new signals involved.

Aerial photo of the site taken around March 2011

The visitors were given an introduction to the project by Birse Project Manager Stephen Gray and ECC Client Project Manager Ian Allen.  The interesting presentation gave details on the background and tortuous beginnings of the project. This is very well covered in the NCE article.

Birse Project manager Stephen Gray introducing the project

After the presentation the group was split into two. My group was led by Ian and Birse structures agent Rudy Pillay whilst the other group was led by Stephen and ECC deputy Project manager Sean Perry The groups viewed the ongoing works to the London Road Bridge – a single span monolithic bridge on weathering steel girders (supplied by Mabey Bridge) – the two span Sadlers Hall Bridge and the contiguous piled and natural sloped excavation for the strategic link.

The visit was blessed with excellent weather and was thoroughly enjoyed by all those who attended.  Many thanks to Birse and Essex County Council for hosting the visit.  The visit was heavily oversubscribed to the extent that a second visit has been arranged for the 3rd August.  This second visit is also fully booked.

A selection of photos from the visit are included below.  Further photos can be found on my picasaweb website by clicking here.

Visitors hearing about the London Road Bridge construction
Edge girder on London Road Bridge
View across the partially concreted London Road Bridge
Looking north along the route of the Strategic Link
Centre pier of Sadlers Hall Bridge under construction
Piles for Sadlers Hall Bridge west abutment awaiting trimming
Visitors hearing about the strategic link contig piles and excavation
The strategic link looking south toward London Road Bridge
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