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A338 Bournemouth Spur Road maintenance

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A338 road open

Dorset County Council has completed the major maintenance on the Bournemouth Spur Road on time and on budget.

Thank you for your patience during these essential, but disruptive, works.

The £22m scheme, is the first of Bournemouth International Growth Programme's (opens in a new window) transport and infrastructure projects to be delivered.

Dorset Highways has worked in partnership with Hanson Contracting UK and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to successfully complete the nine month reconstruction between Ashley Heath and Blackwater which has also provided improvements, including:

  • a new lower noise surface layer
  • 1m hard strip for emergency use and breakdowns
  • improved drainage to reduce flooding and ponding
  • new concrete central reserve safety barrier to reduce maintenance and likelihood of crossover accidents
  • new road signs, cats' eyes and road markings

Green construction

As part of the reconstruction, 70,000 tonnes of material from the old road has been recycled, making the scheme one of the greenest road maintenance projects in the country.

Producing the material at the site compound has reduced carbon emissions by 582 tonnes compared with transporting the material from a quarry, and material from the widening of the road - to provide a new running strip - has also been used to re-landscape the verges, saving 12,500m³ of material going to waste, and to landfill.

For the recycling process, material is removed from the old road and taken into the compound where it is crushed, screened, and processed with cement and bitumen to make the 'foambase' material for the road. The same lorries that take the old road to the compound return with the foambase - reducing lorry movements and carbon emissions yet further.

Just over two thirds of the new road is the recycled foambase. High performance asphalts have been used for the binder and surface layers, these should last longer than 'normal' asphalt and will also reduce noise significantly.

Looking after the natural environment

The A338 goes through multiple areas of protected heathland such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas and, and its verges are also habitat for all of our protected native reptile species, with the Smooth Snake and Sand Lizard most highly protected under European law.

The project has been innovative in its approach to removing reptiles from the area. Organisations must usually apply for a licence from Natural England before beginning lengthy work to install reptile fencing and move the creatures by hand.

For the A338, which goes through multiple areas of protected heathland, ecologists at Dorset County Council worked closely with Natural England to agree a new method of working - making the verges unattractive as habitat while enhancing other areas nearby to encourage the reptiles to move home.

John Stobart, Planning and Conservation Lead Advisor at Natural England, said: "Natural England is delighted with the progress and scale of the works to enhance rare reptile habitat along the A338 road scheme, which will help link up internationally important heathland habitats.

"The approach adopted is delivering a major road scheme at reduced cost, is protecting reptiles from harm while delivering a significant nature conservation project. It is hoped that the lessons learnt will be used elsewhere for the benefit wildlife and road users alike."

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