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Twyford Road Embankment Repair


This project involved the reconstruction of a 180m long section of failed embankment supporting the Twyford Road as it approached the A329m overbridge. During the initial failure the road surface and footway had cracked and the VRS had failed.

This was stabilised by installing a mass of fill material on the toe of the failure. Monitoring equipment had been installed and it could be seen that the embankment was still moving; a permanent solution was needed.

The client was Balfour Beatty Living Places for Wokingham Borough Council. Wokingham Borough Council commissioned the design of this £1m scheme. The project scope included:

  • Excavation and replacement of 6,500m3 of slipped material
  • Installation of 70m of gabion basket wall
  • Replacement of 165m of 1,050mm diameter concrete pipework and manholes
  • Construction of a new headwall, including over pumping to allow installation
  • Reconstruction of 20m of new ditch, including Reno matting lining
  • Reconstruction of the footway
  • Installation of 120m of VRS
  • Installation of 180m of boundary fencing
  • Landscaping and planting
  • Installation, maintenance and removal of Traffic Management, including Varioguard and temporary traffic lights.

All the works were self-delivered by R&W with the exception of the landscaping and planting in which we were supported by one of our long-established supply chain partners

Three preconstruction meetings were held with our client and the designer to clarify the method of construction and construction details. Several options were discussed and priced during this period, including the disposal of the excavated material with the potential to reuse it on another site, and alternative Traffic Management proposals. The development of these options enabled our client to select the scheme that best suited the site constraints and their budget.

A small site team was established with welfare and offices set up on the Twyford Road under a lane closure (installed by R&W Traffic Management) and supported from an existing larger site office three miles away, which was shared with another scheme, thereby reducing costs and the site footprint.

The method of work was well discussed and understood during the pre-contract stage. The scheme was broken down into six phases due to the geotechnical constraints of the failure, working along the site from west to east. Access to the adjacent land was negotiated by R&W to allow the boundary to be moved out temporarily so that the works could be completed.

Vehicle access to the site itself was restricted and the logistics of removing the excavated material and the import of the fill had to be very tightly controlled. A reception ‘pen’ was established at one end of the site to safely manage vehicles. As we were delivering the complete package of works, including the Traffic Management, our traffic management team was engaged to marshal and control lorry movements. This allowed other members of the team to concentrate on the geotechnical works. It also meant that we had fewer operatives on site, resulting in efficient delivery and the removal of many people/plant interfaces.

Material could only be removed and imported from the top of the site from road level. As a result, there was a significant amount of double handling of materials as 6,500m3 of material had to be imported.


Highlights of the scheme included:

  • Self-delivery of all geotechnical and other associated works by our multi-skilled workforce improved safety, reduced the programme and minimised the impact of the works on the general public
  • Integration of geotechnical teams and in-house Traffic Management resources reduced head count and saved money
  • Use of our well-established supply chain, drawing on existing strong collaborative working relationships and a mutual understanding of each other’s way of working, enabled the works to be carried out efficiently and effectively

This project demonstrates R&W’s ability to self-deliver a significant geotechnical scheme.

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