A new concept for the rapid construction of cattle grids in the New Forest has been developed by Hampshire County Council to minimise road closure times, particularly when long diversions are involved.
The Council has worked closely with its long-standing main contractor for cattle grids, Amey and its grids contractor Triangle of Fordingbridge, to design a system using steelwork installed within a reinforced concrete base, hence reducing the curing time involved when using on-site poured concrete.
Triangle employed Southampton based Su-Fix Precast to install the first of the new design precast sections using concrete components manufactured by the Bespoke Precast division of Poundfield Precast of Ipswich in Suffolk. The success of this trial means that future replacement grids within the New Forest will be of similar construction in time-sensitive areas, as total installation time has been reduced from around three weeks to just over one week. This time saving is particularly important to Hampshire County Council when road closures can result in complex and lengthy diversions.
Commenting on the project, Poundfield’s Bespoke Concrete division director Tim Evans said: “We have supplied two reinforced concrete components for the trial grid, each approximately 2.80 x 2.60 m in size and weighing some 9 tonne, which involved the construction of a large wooden mould. We also applied a bitumen coating to all external surfaces to prevent moisture ingress.”