Mike Fenton, emda's Project Director for The Avenue said: "This is a real milestone for the project and it's great to have VSD on board. It's going to be a challenging and exciting time for all involved in the clean-up but we are confident that the time taken to carry out extensive trials and to plan the safe remediation strategy will pay dividends as work progresses."
VSD Avenue will use techniques that haven't been used in the UK on such a large scale before. These include:
As Marcus Foweather, Project Director at VSD Avenue, explained: "This is one of the most complex civil engineering remediation schemes in Europe and we have worked hard to make sure the remediation works set new standards and provide a benchmark for other heavily contaminated sites. It incorporates some exciting techniques using state of the art technology, whilst focusing on sustainability and environmental issues."
The regeneration of the former industrial site will take around four years to complete. It will involve the excavation of over two million cubic metres of material, including the clean up of two silt lagoons, a registered asbestos containing waste tip and ground pollution caused by heavy metals and waste chemicals. A commitment by the project team to sustainable regeneration will ensure that almost all of the treated material will be reused on the site.
Upon completion, the remediation of the Avenue Coking Works will provide an area of mixed use development land with the remaining land being landscaped to provide new public open space, new wildlife habitats and sporting facilities. It is costing £172.3m to deliver the wider Avenue project, which forms part of the Homes and Communities Agency's (HCA's) National Coalfield Programme.
Anthony Sowden, HCA Senior Regeneration Manager, said: "Avenue Coking Works represents one of the most significant remediation projects in the UK. Through the National Coalfields Programme the Homes and Communities Agency and our partners emda and VSD are committed to delivering high quality, sustainable regeneration at the Works that will be an exemplar for the future. Getting the project this far is testament to the commitment and hard work of all partners and it is fantastic to see the work now underway."
For regular updates, visit www.theavenueproject.co.uk