Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The Chilton Interchange Pt One

In January 2014 Oxfordshire CC announced a consultation for a new Chilton interchange Link. The Government were putting up £10 million towards it and the rest met from OCC. The interchange is badly needed for the Harwell science complex as there is no exit from the south bound side or entry on the northbound side of the old interchange. As I work on the Harwell complex I thought it would be a good idea to document the progress of the build when it happens. Somehow I really did not think there will be a lot of opposition to this as it is badly needed and should relieve the traffic problems down the road at Rowstock. It was my intention to follow the progress of the work as work was due to start in 2014 but nothing happened because there had been a delay due to the local council (Chilton) objecting and saying the money could be better spent. Someone must have had a word and told them the error of their ways because the objection was withdrawn thus saving thousands of pounds more being wasted on a public enquiry.  Some work happened in December then nothing until I saw in the paper work was commencing in 2015. In the first week of April they started clearing some of the trees that are in the way, first the northbound side. Work finally commenced around August / September of 2015 finally opening on 10th November 2016. During the intervening time I documented the progress week by week, these are some of the photos I took of the progress. There is a more in depth article I wrote on Geograph
I have decided to do this blog in two parts, this one will take you to December 2015. 

These photo's are some I took before work started to show how the road and area looked before hand. Above you can see the odd looking pavement which was build a few years ago & ill thought out from a pedestrians point of view. The area on the right is where I expected to see the roundabout

The entrance the field beside road, it curves away towards the A34

The field below the road which was never used from what I can remember

Going down to the field level. When the A34 went in only two sliproads were built at Chilton but this side was left for some reason

The bank I climbed down from the road

The North bound carrageway of the A34 from the road bridge, the new sliproad will join around where the Eddie Stobart truck is

The south bound side the sliproad will start where the second truck is. The barriers you see in both photos are a tunnel under the A34 taking a bridleway

This is the Hagbourne hill road, I'm stood beside the entrance to the Manor Court office block which is up for sale

The are where the slip road will go, as you can see it looks as though it was intended to have a slip road here but never built like the other side of the A34

The trees beside the Hagbourne hill road and the roundabout should go around this area

This is a view from the present roundabout near Chilton looking up towards Hagbourne Hill.

Something happened in December 2014 on the area to the near Chilton where the sliproad will come off the A34

The ground was being scraped

Where the sliproad joining the A34 was going some one was erecting a sign

Four months later they started clearing the trees beside the A 4185 at Chilton

along the Hagbourne Hill road they cleared them all
apart from one which I thought was going to be left, it was gone when I went home

Another four months and a sign appeared along with safety fencing

a site office

and a guy marking out survey points

a small excavatire was digging as well

Things had finally started to happen

 September saw this badboy clearing the area where field started you saw in the third photo 

Nearby you could see where the excavators had cleared a large area

The first thing laid was an access road for the contractors to the site office

and safety fencing along the side of the road

Further down the side you could see them clearing away the top soil

and over a weekend the site offices went in

Over on what I call the South side where the sliproad came off the road was closed so they could improve the top of Hagbourne Hill

Nearby in the field an Excavator waited

The next week they had cleared a lot of the old bank beside the road

and on site a large earth mover was seen parked up

Down the site an excavator was clearing the shrubbery from beside the A34 and you could see the line of the sliproad appearing

The South side was the same

The Hagbourne Hill road was closed off fully by now

Week by week you noticed changes

Though most work to start with was clearing the area

off all the topsoil

Then I noticed one week they were building up the level on the North Side of the A34

Tipper trucks and rollers going to working away. you could see they had dug down forming an embankment on one side, the spoil was used to build up the roundabout

On the South  side there was lots of excavation work happening

and the huge earth movers were being filled

and I spotted where they were going along the bridleway an under the A34

Then out the other side to dump  it on the Roundabout being built

as they had a lot of building up to do on this side of the A34

The work continued and every time I came back there were changes

A road line could easily be made out now 

though the far side of the bridleway was left untouched

The area on the south side you could see a roundabout forming

work up the side continued with tons of earth being collected

and some had been used on the first roundabout being built

A few weeks after starting the site access road moved to be beside the main road

There was also more equipment being used


Dump Trucks came from  lower down the site near the bridleway

and dumped it on where the road and roundabout were being built

The South side had changed from a field to a construction site

with earth movers clearing and moving material

Which was going up the bridleway. By the roundabout a large amount of concrete had appeared from an old wall and road from The Manor Court

The work though was mostly happing near the A34

Were the earth movers cleared the site

One of the dumpers coming back empty

Surveyors equipment and site managers

Caterpillar  moving recycled material around

Panoramic of the North side roundabout from the A34

Panoramic view of the South side roundabout

As winter came so did the rain and the site turned muddy

None of this stopped the work going on

At  the bridleway huge amounts of earth were being moved

and on the South roundabout a new road off the roundabout was taking form

Winter made the place look dismal

Trucks were bringing in recycled material for the hardcore road surface

The next panoramic showed the embankments taking shape

 few weeks after the site road had changed direction a new entrance was made

nearly opposite the sliproad off the A34

If you looked down site it seemed like mayhem was going on. The second site on the South was almost as bad

The safety fence moved out

Pegs were going in marking the road


But there was still a huge amount of work to do

Looking from the bridge at the North side you could now see an embankment


where on one side topsoil had been laid down

That told me the road hight had been reached

More pegs could be seen

and the bridleway had been excavated out for a bridge to go over

Soil was being laid on the site office roadside as well

Looking from the bridge over the A34 you could see the huge excavation of the bridleway

On the South side two excavators lift equipment

A truck drives along the bridleway

The drainage goes in along the side of the sliproad

While on the north side they fit manholes in place

I left with a last view of the North side before the broke up for the Christmas Holidays. It had taken around three months to build the foundations of two slip roads.
Part two will take you to the opening of the sliproads.