Ground survey work to pave the way for the ongoing project to rebuild Belgrave Road and its retaining walls in Ventnor has achieved national recognition.
The work by a project team of the Isle of Wight Council, Island Roads and consultants Atkins, together with specialist contactors SOCOTEC and RH Solutions, was shortlisted for the award of Ground Investigation Project of the Year at the 2021 Ground Engineering Awards.
Though up against much larger projects, judges were impressed by the way the project team carried out the necessary investigations at Belgrave Road despite the potential unstable nature of the location making access difficult.
Given the age of the wall – built over 150 years ago – there was also little documentation to give information about the construction of the terraced retaining walls.
Project manager Jason Boulter: “In very unusual – and changing – circumstances we were required to design, scope and undertake a comprehensive ground and structural site investigation to gather the information necessary to both understand the causes and design a solution to rebuild the walls and re-open the road.
“Because of the nature of the site, all this had to be done with only limited access to the failed sections and with it being impossible to introduce the heavy equipment we would usually use to undertake the survey work.”
The solution was to undertake a phased approach that allowed the survey to progress only when previous data had been evaluated and the next steps deemed safe
Councillor Phil Jordan, IW Council cabinet member for infrastructure, added:
“It was an unusually complex process but necessarily so given the unusual challenges on site. I’m delighted the team was shortlisted for the Ground Engineering Awards which showed how well the whole partnership has worked together to progress the scheme on behalf of the local community. I look forward to the great improvements on safety and visible finish the final scheme is going to deliver for the town, the residents and the wider community.”
Work to rebuild the retaining walls and highway at Belgrave Road is ongoing and expected to finish next Autumn.