Technical Focus Environmental
The M11 EJV has a strong commitment towards the protection of the Environment and with the help of qualified specialists are taking measures to design and construct the works according to the highest standards.
Noise and Vibration
At locations where the soil contains big masses of rock, the use of excavators is not adequate, therefore blasting of the rock is required. So far (up to January 2017) five blasts have taken place at Clogh and Knockrathkyle, and these works will continue during 2017. The rock material from the blasts is being processed into finer material, and is reused in other parts of the project, including its use as backfill material to structures.
The public is notified before any of these blasts and it is explained what is being done and for what duration. Also all blasts take place during daytime hours only.
During the blasting, monitoring of noise and vibration is taking place at the specified properties by an independent qualified company.
Should any monitoring indicate that noise or vibration levels have exceeded the acceptable values indicated in the Contract, then the plant or equipment causing the noise / vibration is powered down immediately. Appropriate action is taken in consultation with the Site Agent to reduce the noise and/or vibration levels. These actions may include:
- Servicing and or modifying the plant / equipment;
- Replacing the plant / equipment;
- Moving the operation away from sensitive properties and receptors;
- Modifying the blasting operations;
- Rescheduling the activity;
- Erecting noise barriers where other measures are not practical.
When noise and vibration monitoring is taking place, all monitors take into account the background noise and individual situation as well. Any complaints from residents or the general public are recorded, and are dealt with promptly.
Maintenance teams take waste generated on site back to their compounds to be placed in appropriate waste receptacles designated for recycling, reuse or disposal, or directly to appropriately licenced waste facilities. Any suspected contaminated material encountered is assessed and classified before removal from the site.
Fuel chemicals or spillage are stored in properly designed areas at storage compounds, which are not located close to streams and are being removed from these areas by a licenced waste contractor.
Concrete pouring will not take place near surface water streams or ditches , and appropriate measures are being taken in cases where this cannot be avoided, as in the cases of in situ concreting for Bridges Culverts etc.
Demolition procedures are followed to ensure that optimum recycling and reuse of material is achieved.
Site roads are regularly being cleaned and maintained as appropriate, and road sweeper vehicles are in constant use along all public roads adjacent to the site.
Vehicles using site roads have their speeds restricted
Where appropriate vehicles exiting the site are making use of wheel wash facilities before entering public roads
Water misting or sprays is also being used if particularly dusty activities are necessary during dry or windy periods
A Liaison Officer has been appointed to provide a point of contact with the local residents and to deal with any concerns raised regarding dust emissions, or other issues.
Fisheries and Streams
Timing of the works in streams and rivers is restricted only during the period from July to September, following consultation with the Fisheries Board in order to protect the Salmonoids and other fish species.
Methods are in place in order to control run-off of silt and suspended solids entering the watercourses, and silt fences and other ditches have been installed to control the flow.
Specialist Ecologists are monitoring the streams on a weekly basis in order to make sure that there aren’t any issues during the progress of the works.
The new culverts to be constructed in order to maintain the flow of the streams are designed in order to have :
- appropriate slope to allow for the stream flow,
- pools at the entrance and exit of the culvert for fish passage
- maintain a minimum water level within the culvert.
Surface water runoff from construction areas will be passed through silt traps prior to discharge to approved watercourses. Silt traps will be maintained to ensure their optimum operation
Mitigation measures for habitat loss as well as for the provision of safe passage of mammals includes –
- marginal planting at balancing ponds as well as planting woodland hedgerows and grassland; creating new artificial habitats for the animals to relocate in (after consultation with the relevant ecologists)
In watercourses that are being culverted, banksides will be reinstated with equivalent vegetation to that removed, on the sides of the culverts, and also will include mammal ledges and ramps for access.
Mammal resistant fencing will be also provided in order to prevent the animals (badgers, or otters) from crossing the road at unsafe locations and to help guide them to safe crossing locations and mammal underpasses
Bat boxes will be installed on trees and in woodland locations with the help of suitably qualified specialist.
Additional archaeological test trenching has been carried out along the route of the proposed scheme by licenced archaeologists., This testing identified a total of 4 sites of archaeological significance in advance of the construction works, and these sites will be monitored during the stripping of the topsoil at these areas.
Mitigation strategies are being adopted in order to deal with any findings, which may include preservation by record of the archaeological deposits (archaeological excavation) or preservation in situ.