Trunk Road Ground Investigations with BEAR Scotland

Soil Engineering are mid-way through a series of Trunk Road Ground Investigation projects with BEAR Scotland, providing technical support across the country.

While the COVID pandemic has provided significant challenges for delivery, the project teams continue to work safely to deliver projects which will benefit thousands of Scottish Motorists. Schemes at Broxden Roundabout, and on the A84 and A85 have been secured, planned and commenced delivery throughout the pandemic.

Broxden Roundabout – Junction Improvements

Awarded in early March, the Broxden Roundabout project has provided detailed Ground Investigation information for the remodelling of an important junction between the A9 and A90. Site Works were delayed by the need to accommodate amended working practices to ensure safety during the COVID Lockdown, but were completed during a specially permitted period during June-July 2020. Seven boreholes and thirteen trial pits provided on opportunity to obtain detailed ground condition information as well as samples for testing by our in-house geotechnical laboratory, and specialist Geoenvironmental Subcontractor Terra Tek. Data from the boreholes, lab testing, and ongoing monitoring has been shared digitally with BEAR Scotland’s design partner Jacobs to facilitate ongoing design of the scheme.

A84 at Pass House – Multiphase, Multidisciplinary Investigation

Following on from Broxden, we’ve recently returned to the A84 at Pass House Wall. A second phase of works, building on information recovered by Soil Engineering during a winter 2019 investigation, has recently been completed. Located to the north west of Callander, the retaining structure at Pass House is destined for upgrade. Soil Engineering were asked to provide information on existing ground conditions, and to positively prove the locations of several key services in the area which could be affected by construction works.

A three-phase approach has been taken to the works, allowing dynamic design and assessment of data recovered. Phase One included trenching to positively prove the position of a utility, which was key to the completion of phases two and three. Having located the service, rotary boreholes were drilled in phase two. These used televiewer technology to examine rock condition in-situ. EGS’s televiewer work complements the detailed logs provided by our Engineers, for even greater data recovery. Finally, in phase three, we’ve undertaken seismic refraction surveys to add detail to the site model. Completed in partnership with supply chain partner Zetica, the seismic data is correlated to the boreholes from phase two, and the 2019 investigation to aid design. Completing works in a series of compact phases allowed us to minimise the number of people on site at any one time, and ensure that each technique directly benefitted the others.

Upcoming A85 Works

The Pass House Wall investigation is completing lab works and entering final reporting, and so we’re now gearing up to go to the A85 at Allt na Deabtaich. BEAR Scotland have awarded us this third contract, located north of Lochearnhead, to provide data for a structure upgrade. A series of holes will be cored into the existing retaining wall to give better definition to its structure. Excavations will also be undertaken around the wall by both hand and machine to improve understanding of the ground conditions, before boreholes are formed to provide data for increased foundations. Works are anticipated to take around three weeks to complete. As with all our BEAR Scotland projects, the scheme will be managed from our Coatbridge office, using local resources.

At a time when long-distance travel is to be avoided, our regional teams, with their diverse locations, are a vital tool in delivering projects. BEAR’s confidence in our ability to deliver this suite of projects, with a combined value of around £300k, reflects the extensive capability of our team and supply chain.

1:00 AM Jan 1st

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