Drone footage of Selwood at work on the A14 road project

Selwood has been appointed as the preferred supplier of pumping solutions to the A14 Road Improvements Scheme – the largest road project in the UK in 2018.

The A14 Integrated Delivery Team (A14 IDT), a joint venture between Costain, Skanska, Balfour Beatty and Atkins-CH2M, working on behalf of Highways England, chose Selwood to supply pumps for the entire project, which will upgrade 21 miles of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

The road is being widened to three lanes in each direction, with a brand new 17-mile bypass to be constructed south of Huntingdon running four lanes in each direction.

A key feature of the scheme is the need for a series of borrow pits, from which shallow sand, gravel and underlying Oxford Clay will be extracted to be used in road construction.

Creating these pits requires dewatering of the shallow groundwater, which must then to returned to the ground via a series of Recharge Lagoons into various points including the River
Great Ouse, brooks, ditches and fishing lakes and private groundwater abstractions.

Selwood, which had previously been involved in the A14, project, working closely with senior engineers in the early stages, has valuable knowledge of the ground conditions in the area.

During the tender process, Selwood carried out site trials to test its proposed solution using the company’s D Range pumps, which are ideally suited to large-scale dewatering applications. Likely compensation flows were calculated to ensure that the nearby brooks and fishing lakes could be maintained during the period of dewatering.

In awarding the contract, the A14 IDT noted that Selwood demonstrated overall the best value from the number of areas adjudicated. The tender process took into consideration factors such as health and safety records, sustainability, investment profile, range of pump products, technical support, account management, training, qualifications, competences, accreditations and customer testimonials.

Richard Brown, Managing Director at Selwood, said: “Highway’s England’s A14 project is a huge scheme involving a challenging timetable and 2,200-strong construction team. Projects of this scale require dedicated teams with expert knowledge of the ground conditions in the region and the ability to deliver high-quality solutions.

“We are proud to have demonstrated that we meet those criteria, and to be utilising our expertise in support of this important scheme.”

Selwood’s appointment comes as more than a quarter of the project’s main construction work has been successfully completed, with 2.5 million cubic metres of soil moved into position to create foundations for the road and junctions.

A total of 34 bridges and structures are being built as part of the scheme, including the new 750-metre long River Great Ouse viaduct. The project is due to open by the end of 2020.