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Forder Valley Link Road - Newsletter June 2021

Forder Valley Link Road - Newsletter title with watermarked bridge image in the background.

What's been happening

It has been a busy few months on the construction site for the Forder Valley Link Road. We achieved a major milestone with the transportation and installation of the bridge beams. A specialist 1,200 tonne crane lifted each of the beams into place. The crane itself is one of the biggest of its kind in Europe and took 23 hours to build.  The bridge will measure over 140 metres in length and will span across the Bircham Valley and has a design life of 120 years. The main deck of the bridge is supported by 28 precast concrete beams each weighing 105 tonnes and measuring 35 metres in length (almost one and a half times the height of Smeaton’s Tower).  The main deck of the bridge measures 25 metres wide which will accommodate three traffic lanes (two uphill lanes and one downhill lane) with a footway/cycleway on each side. All of the large concrete beams have now been successfully moved from Sheepstor Road and successfully installed onto the bridge deck, Sheepstor Road has now reopened. 

A concrete beam suspended in the air by a crane

What's happening next

The construction of the bridge continues throughout this month with the first pouring of concrete onto the bridge deck. Groundworks continue on Forder Valley Road South, with the surfacing of the new road and pathway. The temporary traffic lights have been removed to allow free flowing traffic in both directions. The new pathway is under construction on Forder Valley Road West, while groundworks continue on the road. Work continues to widen the road off Leigham Roundabout towards Forder Valley Road northbound as part of the Forder Valley Interchange scheme. The subway is now closed while works are carried out to extend it and the footway/cycleway between Wilburt Road and Barnstaple Close is also now closed for widening, with alternative routes signposted. We thank you for your continued patience while these works go ahead. 

Picture looking down Forder Valley Road South

Devon hedge

You might have already seen that construction of the Devon hedge on Novorossiysk Road has begun. This will continue throughout June and July. The Devon hedge will be a 1.8 metre earth bank, covered with shale stone and topped with the following shrubs: field maple, hazel, hawthorn, holly, crab apple, wild cherry, blackthorn, dog rose and guelder rose. This will allow a hedge of up to 1.5 metres to form on top, helping us achieve our ‘biodiversity net gain’ targets, where we not only replace wildlife habitats that have been lost but improve upon them too. In some areas it will also have an integrated 1.2 metre noise barrier to help minimise traffic noise for residents nearest the new junction by up to 30 decibels. The existing footpath will be resurfaced and the area either side of the Devon hedge will be landscaped with species rich, wildflower grass.  

Graphic showing a cross section of Devon Hedge.

Meet the team

We have had two new members join the Balfour Beatty team:

Vanessa Woods (Project Communications Manager)

Vanessa Woods

Nyah Escrig (Communications Assistant)

Nyah Escrig

They will be the link between the site team, residents, and local businesses. They will be out and about engaging with local communities and supporting with any questions you might have. 

Community news

We are proud to be working with local schools in the area as part of the project. This month we visited Cann Bridge School and donated some surplus materials of assorted pipes that will be used to help support pupils’ development in the classroom and during outdoor playtimes.