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Sunday, 20 June 2010

Three new friends of the Two Tunnels route

The lack of activity on the ground does give the impression that everything's at a halt. Behind the scenes though, there's the nitty gritty work on the planning of the exact form of the route - the project plan isn't slipping all round the calendar, physical work is currently booked to restart in the autumn.

Meanwhile, up at 'The fence' at Devonshire Tunnel, we're looking out signage to inform visitors to the site about the project and its goals. It's quite usual for projects to use any hoardings to proudly announce the constructing partners, contractors and an outline project plan, but people probably thought that no one would visit Linear Park to see what's going on.  Not so, as 'The fence' has had visitors from far and wide, as well as from Bath residents.

Bath's Holborne Museum's Extension project (their site's pictured to the right, planted firmly at the end of Great Pulteney Street and 'A bit high viz') even pins the projected completion date on its fence.

We're pretty proud of the Two Tunnels project, so we'll see what we can bring about at the Devonshire Tunnel work site. It may be less prominently sited than the Holborne but it still has its visitors, and the fence will be in place for this year and most of next.

Which brings us to the other problem - the fence blocked any hope of a view of the works.

It's not unusual ... for a construction site to have viewports in its perimeter fence.

Thanks to Nigel Bryant and a Sunday morning, visitors can now view the site through no less than three holes, and this being the Two Tunnels project, we think of them as three new supporters who each have a name.

Arthur Ole
The first attempt. Something went terribly wrong and the air turned blue. The hole's image has been tinted blue in honour of the work that went into this first attempt and the language it provoked.
Ann Ole
The first successful hole, this one's for tall people, Ann Ole is well off the ground.
Anna Ver Ole
Thinking that small people would also like to see the works, Nigel cut a third hole at a suitable height ...

Of course we'd never suggest that these are used in the same way as the once common fairground sideshow, with willing volunteers pelted with wet sponges from the other side as a fundraiser ...

... that's because we'd be those volunteers ...

The final photos show the fence with the viewports, and the newly greened-over approach cutting. Behind it, the topsoil that dressed the cutting's sides has greened over well. You might notice that the tunnel portal's excavation stopped slightly short of its full depth. This is because it was found to be about a metre more deeply buried than initial estimates.

To deepen the excavation would have either implied steeper cutting sides - and they were quite old fashioned enough already - or far more excavation and hence spoil to remove, so it was decided to stop slightly short of the 'Trackbed depth' - at a point at which the tunnel portal will still provide more than adequate headroom.

There's something else. In this photo, can you find the moon?


Blockbell said...

Fascinated to see how the tunnel mouth's surroundings have greened over since my visit just after Easter. But have the bats mentioned to anyone when they might give their permission for the block wall to come down?

Anonymous said...

You make mention of the project plan. Are you able to post this onto the website as a pdf, together with the GANTT chart?

I'm keen to know about the various activities yet to be completed and how long I must wait before I can enjoy a flatter ride to work.

Frank said...

The project plan is currently subject to ageement between Sustrans and B&NES Council. It will be posted on the Construction Blog when this has happened, hopefully in the near future.

Mark A said...

Went to the Bath Cycling Campaign's screening of the film Beauty and the bike this evening at the Little Theatre. It'll never be seen by the people who need to see it, but all local authorities ought to sit their transport people down in front of it. It certainly left you thinking 'This approach pays for itself. Why, in the UK, is this so hard?'

Gerard said...

"That's no moon. That's a..."
(Sorry, couldn't resist.) Good to see this one continuing, and thanks for the updates.

Rob said...

I've only just realised that the Bath Sky Ride I've been seeing signs for recently is a bike event. Going back to the idea of promoting the two tunnels route, is there going to be a presence at the event?

Pool Enclosures said...

Not so, as 'The fence' has had visitors from far and wide, as well as from Bath residents.