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Heave monitoring site, Southam, Warwickshire
Heave monitoring site, Southam, Warwickshire

Burton Green tunnel

A joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Vinci (BBV) will be delivering some of the main construction work in the greater West Midlands. This includes the detailed design and construction of the HS2 tunnel through Burton Green. 

You can also find out more information about how HS2 will dig 64 miles of tunnels between London and the West Midlands on the tunnels webpage.

HS2 green tunnel, artist's impression
HS2 green tunnel, artist's impression

The Green Tunnel

The Tunnel will be 1.8km long, with one entrance near Broadwell Oaks and the other by the village hall and National Grid sub-station. 

We will be constructing a service building near the Broadwell Oaks entrance of the tunnel and space will be created for an Auto Transformer Station near the village hall end of the tunnel. 

The construction of the HS2 line broadly follows the alignment of the Kenilworth Greenway corridor and will have an impact on this community facility, which is used by circa 150,000 people a year. We recognise the importance of this feature locally and have developed proposals for both its temporary and permanent use. 

The temporary route diverts of the current alignment close to the site of the new Burton Village Hall, and follows existing field boundaries to minimise impacts on farming activities, before linking to Berkswell Station in the north west. 

For the permanent Greenway route, we have used HS2’s Landscape Design Approach principles to guide our design. This is focused on: 

  • Conserving the remaining sections of the Kenilworth Greenway where possible to ensure environmental and historical connectivity; 
  • Enhancing the environmental features of the realigned Greenway, notably in the protection and enhancement of Ancient Woodlands; 
  • Restoring the character the of Greenway so that in time it re-establishes its linear tree lined characteristics; and 
  • Transforming the usage of the Greenway by providing enhanced connectivity for users and local wildlife. 

Using the tunnel roof

The section of the scheme nearest the heart of the village is contained in a ‘green tunnel’. This is where a cutting is created, a tunnel ‘box’ is constructed within the cutting and then the space around the box is filled to create an area of land on the surface. 

A green tunnel not only provides excellent noise and visual mitigation during operation, it allows the design team to restore connectivity over the top of the green tunnel and in this instance realign the Kenilworth Greenway and other environmental features. 

There are a variety of opportunities that the tunnel roof provides and we would like to hear your views on what you think this area could be used for. There may be engineering constraints on what can be done on the roof as it will be a structure above a working railway. After we finish gathering your comments and views we will share them with local authorities too. 

Underpass

Due to the construction of the green tunnel and the removal of the existing arched brick bridge that carries Cromwell Lane over the Kenilworth Greenway, a new underpass is required. 

There are a number of factors that have been considered in the design of this underpass including: 

  • Minimising the length of the underpass to make it a lighter space whilst allowing for the temporary and permanent diversion of Cromwell Lane above it; 
  • Providing enough width and height for horse riders as well as cyclists and pedestrians; 
  • Ensuring the safety of road users is considered
  • Restoring the character of the new section of Greenway so that it mirrors the vegetation and dappled light which currently can be found in this location. 

Traffic calming in Burton Green

It is important to keep Cromwell Lane open during the construction of the Burton Green Tunnel. To enable us to achieve this, a temporary diversion will be created immediately to the west of the existing alignment. This will allow us to construct the southern end of the tunnel before restoring the road back onto its original alignment, and constructing the rest of the tunnel. 

As with the existing bridge crossing, traffic calming measures will be included in the final scheme to reduce speeds in the village and make the pedestrian access onto the new greenway safer. Access to local properties will also be maintained at all times. While we are undertaking this work there will be periods where traffic management is required as the new sections of road are tied into the existing alignment, but we will aim to keep these periods to a minimum and ensure that local people are kept up to date.