Northern Section of the Hinkley Connection Project in progress
Following the successful completion of the installation phase of the Southern section of Hinckley Connection, Kelston Sparkes was subsequently appointed to manage the groundworks along the northern section from Sandford to Portbury. The two-year project, which commenced in mid-2021 involves the construction of a further 86 T-pylons with Kelston Sparkes responsible for installing haul roads and work areas. As well stripping topsoil, excavating the subgrade and placing geotextile and imported aggregate, the scope of the work included excavating and installing utility protection crossings. And - because of its lowland location – it was necessary to dam and excavate natural watercourses and install a number of box culvert crossings for the temporary works.
The T-pylons – the first worldwide to go into use – will join up with 27 lattice pylons in Avonmouth and after the stringing is completed the final connection of the new grid will be made to the Seabank substation which will power homes and businesses across the South West.
Whilst completing the work on the northern section the Kelston Sparkes team is working simultaneously on the reinstatement of the Southern section; dismantling the haul roads and work areas, reinstating the rhynes and watercourses and removing temporary culverts. This whole process will then be completed on northern section.
As part of the environmental credentials of the project it was incumbent on Kelston Sparkes to recover, recycle and reuse as many of the construction materials as possible. Having partnered with Soil Science Ltd to create haul roads with fewer imported aggregates, the company subsequently partnered with ‘This is Gravity’ to re-use the stone and aggregate from the Hinkley project for the development of a new multi-million-pound business innovation park near Bridgwater. Situated adjacent to the M5 motorway, the 635-acre brownfield site - a former Royal Ordnance factory that has lain unused since 2008 – will be turned into a large-scale zone for smart and green businesses.
During the reinstatement of the Hinkley Point Connection work areas, Kelston Sparkes teams are removing the stone and delivering it to Gravity for use as a future piling mat. With a target of zero to landfill, any damaged material is screened and reprocessed on the Gravity site using Kelston Sparkes screening equipment and stored for future use. On the Gravity site itself Kelston Sparkes is breaking up existing concrete slabs on-site and crushing the concrete for use in the piling mat. These recycled materials significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the development whilst enabling rapid delivery solutions for potential occupiers of the site.
David Swann, Contracts Director at Kelston Sparkes, believes both projects showcase the benefits of working with the company;
“We devised an end-to-end solution for Balfour Beatty, the appointed Tier 1 contractor for the Hinkley Connection Project. From installing new technology haul roads, to the temporary diversion of water courses and the repurposing of all the materials used, we have helped to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of this project, as well as the enterprise zone. Each job was delivered for minimal impact on both the countryside and the local community, whilst delivering huge benefits for the people of the South West.”