Southerndown, Vale of Glamorgan

Work was required to construct a footpath along a raised section of the Wales Coastal Path.  Access was restricted to a point on the highway near a bend, with a raised level of approximately 2.2m.  A traffic management order was arranged and traffic management to Chapter 8 was erected at the access point.  Temporary works were provided for access by excavating a ramp to a safe gradient leading into the site.  The constraints of the site required a (max) 3.5T excavator and 1.5T dumper for all operations.

The permanent works comprised excavation for concrete steps and excavation for creation of a footpath for a distance of approximately 130 metres.  The area was overgrown with bracken and required the removal of several small trees of girth over 600mm.  Concrete path edgings (915x50x150) were laid to both sides of the path following the natural longitudinal profile of the path and bedded and backed with concrete – approximately 260 metres. 

Type 1 hardcore was imported by double handling from a road tipper to a 1.5T dumper with a mini excavator and delivered to the laying edge where it was spread by hand and compacted to the specification.  Bitumen macadam base course and surface course was delivered to the laying edge in the same sequence as the Type 1 hardcore, spread by hand and compacted with a vibrating roller.  On completion of the work the verges were top-soiled to form a natural gradient from the new path edges and raked and sealed. 

Construction of approximately 20 steps then commenced by cutting and filling the temporary access with suitable site material to the correct gradients.  Timber formwork was constructed to form the steps and reinforcement was fixed.  Ready mix concrete was moved into position by wheelbarrow up the steps and compacted with a poker vibrator.  Hand trowelling then took place with a bull nose finish.  On achieving sufficient strength, the formwork was stripped and the verges top-soiled, raked and seeded.   

A tubular galvanised handrail was fabricated and installed to one side of the steps and a kissing gate positioned at the top of the steps in a landing area.  Approximately 30 metres of stock-proof fencing was erected along the length of the works.  The final surface dressing of the macadam path consisted of resin bonded aggregate, set in an epoxy resin, mixed and spread by hand and the specified aggregate applied when liquid.  Path edgings were protected from resin seepage to retain their appearance.

The path remained open to the public throughout the operation and pedestrian management was achieved by way of signage at both ends and a banksman present supervising all machinery movements.  The Chapter 8 traffic management on the highway was controlled by an NRSWA qualified operative.