A large part of the cost of new road and rail schemes is in diverting the myriad of utility services which are affected by the new alignment. The utilities are expected to make a small contribution to the cost, but the majority falls on the promoter of the transport scheme.
The country is criss-crossed with service pipes and trunk mains for all manner of services. These have tended to follow existing routes, and are affected by any major re-alignment of the route.
We have been mainly involved in the diversion of services for road schemes. We were responsible for most of the water main diversions for the construction of the A14, and for the water mains and water and electricity crossings and diversions for the A1 when the road was upgraded to motorway in Cambridgeshire.
Because of the lead time required for these diversions, work has to begin well in advance of the actual highway construction, and often before the highway design is finalised. Some diversions cannot be completed carried out until earthworks have been completed for the road. This results in complex scheduling of the work of the utilities and the road constructors.
The A14 project included over 100 separate water main and sewer diversions. The A1 required 40 km of new water mains and 20 tunnel crossings of the highway which were shared by the water and electricity utilities.