Looking back on 2020 – Part 1
The previous year was certainly chaotic, but even looking back now there are undoubtedly many positives to take away. Not only did the country band together to reduce the spread of Coronavirus but here at B&A we also banded together as a company and managed to make the best of what was a challenging year for all.
While it may have been less packed than we would have liked, with no team Christmas party and a lot less team socialising we still wanted to maintain the B&A tradition and present the year in review for 2020.
The Stonehouse Job Continues Road Construction
The optimistic sunrise on the year 2020, which we’ll soon find is short-lived! The capping placement and compaction at Stonehouse for Montel (c/o Robert Hitchins) started in December 2019 and progressed well in January 2020.
This project required an array of B&A services and certainly showcased our team’s organisation, skill and not to mention hardiness.
You can read more about the Montel Civil Engineering road construction project in our full project breakdown.
Keeping On Track No Matter The Weather
It’s no surprise that the British weather often causes our team trouble. But in February it was taken to new heights with the UK’s wettest February on record. Working in the worst weather seen since when records began in 1862 was not easy.
Our team experienced first hand the impact weather can have on just about everything when working on a project.
Maintaining functioning ongoing earthwork operations under persistent and prolonged rainfall threatened to break even the best of us. The sheer amount of water ingress and management, over-pumping, double handling of wet soils (and then wetter still) and regular influx and stone just to keep wagons rolling was a hard slog, to say the least.
To close down and suspend tipping operations at B&A is simply not an option. We have a personal and professional duty to keep going and serve our clients. It was imperative that we all together to pull through and keep to program commitments – and that is exactly what we did.
Stoke Croft Remediation
The amount of general waste, asbestos, contaminated soils, buried hardcore and obstructions was staggering at the Stokes Croft carriageways site. The tyres shown in the image above came from the site with the originally listed façade of the Carriage Works present in the background.
The installation of passing places behind Innsworth Technology Park for haul road preparation to facilitate subsequent incoming subsoil for later re-use under CL:AIRE. It had to perform to bear the weight of 23,000m3 or over 2800 loads running over it (and it certainly did).
CL:AIRE is committed to providing a valuable service for all those involved in sustainable land reuse and develops training resources, disseminate information and acts as a credible resource for all stakeholders, ensuring they remain at the cutting-edge of best practices and innovation.
Work on Innsworth Continues
Here is the first layer of the subsoil storage at Innsworth for Robert Hitchins. You may notice in this picture the separation layer over the grass without any topsoil strip. Our operation left this untouched to protect future archaeological investigation under the stockpile footprint.
Pictured above is the origin of the vast bulk of the subsoil transferred (still currently stored) at Innsworth – the pond dig-out at Stonehouse. The shape of this pond was carefully designed to wrap around the root system of the Oaktree seen on the left of the picture and be sympathetic to other tree protection.
Supporting Our Key Workers
If you’ve driven along the M32 recently you have probably spotted our trailer sign dedicated to our keyworkers as a thank you to our wonderful NHS workers. If you haven’t yet seen it then keep an eye out! It can be seen from the motorway as you exit at Filton.
The first lockdown period gave many the chance to reflect. For the team at B&A, this really helped honed our business model and ensure we were prepared once work could fully resume.
We never actually fully stopped though. We kept the yard and a skeleton staff ticking over and served the utility contractors. People and society still need functioning water, foul connections, telecoms etc so we are proud to help these key workers. Recycling and waste management is a key arm within the B&A Group and not something that can ever stop.
During this time works were well underway at Taylor Wimpey Meadfields, Weston-Super-Mare. In this image, the raised subsoil plateau (center/right) is situated protruding above the finished road level (left) and is the current long-term location for Taylor Wimpey’s site compound. This plateau is still acting as surcharge long after B&A constructed a stone base for the cabins and carpark to sit on top.
This is just one of many designated surcharge zones that B&A have delivered through mass importation of subsoil and ‘flipping’ previously loaded surcharge areas.
Making Up For Lost Time
Back to Stonehouse post-lockdown to finish the pond – what a difference the dry weather made! At last we were able to dig and load in the same operation. Some excellent progress was made this month and we managed to catch up on ourselves after unavoidable delays.
Overcoming Wet Weather (Not For The First Time This In 2020!)
Above is Zone 3 at Taylor Wimpey Meadfields, Weston-Super-Mare looking smart after being uplifted 4m above original ground level. This was a real challenge given the undulating wet weather arisings of material from Zones 1 & 2 originally sat on this parcel prior to B&A’s scheduled return to site.
Working On The Docks
Throughout July we worked for the Bristol Port Company at Avonmouth Docks hauling material. With 95% of UK goods entering and exiting our shores via the sea, B&A is glad to do our part in keeping the underlying infrastructure development and businesses moving which underpins this wider ongoing trade.
Part 2 coming soon…