Project Spotlight: A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross

A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross, infrastructure, UK,

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The A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross is a significant road infrastructure project in the UK, focused on upgrading a crucial road section in Cornwall for improved safety and efficiency.

The A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross project is a significant road infrastructure upgrade in Cornwall, UK. This project involves transforming the single-carriageway between Chiverton Cross and Carland Cross into a dual-carriageway.

As part of the UK Government’s Road Investment Strategy, this project is needed to enhance road safety, reduce travel times, boost economic growth by improving connectivity for businesses and communities, and support the overall development of Cornwall.

The scheme received funding, including an £8 million contribution from the European Regional Development Fund for development costs, and an additional £12 million was allocated for the construction phase.

The A30 Chiverton to Carland project aims to incorporate environmental sustainability in its design and construction, seeking to minimise its ecological impact on the surrounding areas. Once completed, the project will bring long-term benefits such as improved traffic flow, safety, and economic prosperity for Cornwall and its neighbouring regions.

Costain Jacobs partnership was awarded the contract for detailed construction planning and the execution of environmental and archaeological surveys.

The project commenced in March 2020 and is expected to be completed between December 2023 – March 2024.  

Why is the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross project required?

The current road between Chiverton and Carland Cross is a winding, single-carriageway with many at-grade junctions and private accesses. These conditions, combined with heavy traffic, lead to a series of problems.

Congestion and delays are caused by traffic flows exceeding the capacity of a single carriageway, resulting in journey time reliability. It also constrains Cornwall’s economic growth as congestion and journey times deter business activities. The existing route also lacks provision for non-motorised users and has a poor collision record, highlighting safety concerns. Its design as a single-carriageway with no alternative route also indicates that the road lacks resilience.

Positive impacts of the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross project

The construction of the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross is expected to bring multiple benefits to the UK. Upgrading a dual carriageway will significantly improve traffic flow and enhance road safety through better-designed junctions and features. Additionally, the project will demonstrate a strong commitment to environmental sustainability by constructing wildlife crossings and other sustainable construction practices.

Since construction began in 2020, numerous engineering and construction-related job opportunities have been provided for the project. This has ultimately supported economic growth and brought positive impacts to local businesses.

The development will continue to benefit UK’s local communities, businesses, the environment, and transportation.

A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross design feautres

Numerous key design features are incorporated to improve traffic flow, safety, and environmental sustainability.

Dual carriageway

The dual carriageway design for the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross project involves expanding the existing road into two separate carriageways with two lanes each, separated by a central reservation for safety. High-qualified road surfacing, efficient drainage systems, lighting, clear signage, and strategically placed emergency refuges will be used for the construction of the dual carriageway. The design ensures seamless integration with existing roads, which aims to improve travel efficiency and safety.

Junction Improvements

The junction improvements for the UK project involve redesigning existing junctions and constructing new ones to facilitate smoother traffic flow. Key features include the installation of roundabouts, traffic signals, and dedicated turning lanes to reduce traffic conflicts. The UK Government and Costain Jacobs partnerships also worked closely to improve road alignment for better visibility and easier navigation.

Access Roads

The design and construction of access roads are critical, as it aims to maintain and enhance local connectivity. These access roads are strategically planned to provide local communities with direct and safe routes, ensuring minimal disruption from the increased traffic on the main dual carriageway. It includes slip roads, underpasses, and overpasses to facilitate smooth ingress and egress for traffic.

Safety enhancements

There will be numerous safety enhancements across the project, reducing the risks of accidents on the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross. These enhancements include implementing advanced road surfacing materials with better grip and skip resistance. The design also incorporates improved road markings and signage for clear guidance and traffic management. Additionally, the project strongly emphasises safer junction designs and well-planned pedestrian crossings, crucial in areas of heavy traffic interaction.

Advanced drainage systems

The advanced drainage systems in the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross project are a key design feature, addressing the critical need for effective water management along the upgraded road. These systems are engineered to efficiently channel surface water away from the carriageway, reducing the risk of waterlogging and potential hydroplaning hazards. The design includes the installation of high-capacity drains, culverts, and possible sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) that minimises environmental impact. By incorporating these advanced drainage solutions, it enhances the resilience and longevity of the project.

Provision for non-motorised users

The construction plan for the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross has also incorporated pathways and crossings for cyclists and pedestrians. This ensures safety and accessibility for non-motorised road users, promoting more modes of transport.

In partnership with the UK Government and Costain Jacobs partnership, the construction for the project specifically includes:

  • Ten new underbridges and underpasses
  • Refurbishment of an existing structure
  • 33 new culverts and wildlife crossings
  • Three new bridges over the new road
  • Over 2.6m cubic meters of earthworks
  • Over 12 miles of wildlife-proof fencing
  • Nearly 29 miles of new highway drainage
  • New badger sets and bat roots 
  • 8 miles of Cornish hedge

Environmental Considerations of the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross

Environmental surveys were undertaken before construction began to help protect the area’s rich heritage. Environmental Engineers of the Costain Jacobs partnership integrated several measures to minimise the ecological impact.

Careful landscaping has been involved to blend the road with the surrounding environment. A species of rich grassland and trees native to Cornwall have been planted to support local ecosystems.

Over 29 miles of new drainage will be constructed to protect the residential areas and water courses. Ponds will also be built to store and control surface water flow.

The project includes constructing over 12 miles of wildlife-proof fencing, incorporating badger fencing that guides badgers to custom-designed wildlife crossings. These are part of an eco-friendly initiative featuring three newly constructed badger setts and nine otter crossing tunnels. Additionally, a new bat roost has been established to replace a former stone barn.

Noise barriers were installed and implemented to manage air quality. This is particularly important in residential areas close to the road. Eco-friendly materials were also used to reduce carbon emissions and minimise waste during construction.

Overall, the project will include the following environmental and sustainable features:  

  • Nine crossing tunnels specifically for otters
  • Otter ledges in two of the culverts
  • 21 crossings designed to protect connectivity for bats
  • No artificial lighting on the main route or at junctions, removing any light pollution from the new road
  • The construction of earth barriers and sound-absorbing fencing at key locations to reduce the noise impact of the new road

What is the project status as of today?

The A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross project has entered the final stage, with most construction works completed. The new interchange at Chiverton opened In June 2023, a temporary layout as the UK Government and Costain Jacobs partnership continues construction. 

The key activity over the past year has been piecing together the sections of the new A30 dual carriageway.

Unfortunately, severe weather conditions may impact the opening of the flyover at Chiverton before the end of the year. However, finishing the new structures, underpasses, and dual carriageway sections with some minor residual works will be the focus until the road opens to traffic. 

Last update: 21 November 2023

What are the challenges for the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross project?

The A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross project faces a few challenges. Balancing archaeological preservation with project timelines and budget constraints adds complexity, requiring careful excavation and adherence to heritage protection guidelines. The technical demands of constructing dual carriageways, enhanced junctions, and advanced drainage systems also present significant engineering challenges. This requires precise planning and integrating specific construction techniques while adhering to safety and quality standards.

Navigating these issues is crucial for the project’s success, ensuring it meets its transportation improvement goals while being mindful of environmental and community impacts.

As the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross project approaches completion, it is a pivotal development in UK road infrastructure. This project transforms a critical section of Cornwall’s transportation network, improves traffic flow, and enhances safety and the surrounding environment. It will bring lasting benefits to Cornwall and the broader UK economy once construction is completed between December 2023 and March 2024. 

Source: © Crown copyright 2023

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