North Dorset road construction nears completion

Work to build a new residential road in Gillingham is nearing completion.

looking along new road which is partially built

Construction of the 1.3km Principal Street started in August 2021 and, as it will eventually support around 1,800 homes, there is much more going on under the road than first appears.

Building a residential road from scratch means ensuring every essential service is installed under or within the road structure as it is built, this includes:

  • 3,338 linear metres of ducting laid for utilities
  • 1,500 linear meters of street lighting cable laid
  • 1,400 linear meters of storm drainage carrier pipe, ranging from 150mm diameter up to 450mm
  • 1,300 linear metres of water main
  • 1,150 linear meters of foul drainage
  • 136 gullies with 800 linear meters of connecting pipe work
  • 31 manholes
  • 30 foul water manholes, ranging from 1.2m deep up to 5m deep
  • Four fire hydrants, ten service valves and four wash out valves

Over the final weeks, work will focus on installing streetlighting columns, footway/cycleway surfacing, fencing, landscaping, ironworks and finishing the final road surface layers, with construction work set to finish in mid-July.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “Even as the road stands now, it is easy to forget the tremendous work that lies under the road – ensuring all future utility needs are in place ready for the development of the area. As well as essential road drainage and streetlighting connections.

“I’m especially pleased to hear of the efforts made to lower our carbon footprint within the design of this scheme.”

During the initial work for the new road, specialist equipment stabilised 8,000m³ of material for the foundation of the road – saving the disposal of 16,000tonnes of waste soil and the need for around 16,000tonnes of new, raw material.

Base layer of the road has further recycled material back into the road by using 9,000tonnes of Cement Bound Granular Material – where planings and old kerbs and edgings are crushed, mixed and bound together to create a new, strong material.

Both the binder and surface course are low energy, further improving the green construction of the Principal Street.

The Principal Street will have a 30mph speed limit and a shared footway/cycleway on both sides of the road. It will be adopted by Dorset Council at the end of its construction, with the council taking responsibility for its maintenance.

There will be no through-access along the new road until Welbeck Land Ltd has completed its first phase of development, which includes building the final junction at the eastern end of Principal Street onto Shaftesbury Road.

A successful bid to Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) granted £6.31m to Dorset Council to fund the design of the Principal Street, secure planning approval and build the road through the development.

This money will be recovered through Section 106 developer contributions from the expansion which will be reinvested in housing projects across the Dorset Council area.

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