Highways England has awarded GRAHAM a £3.5m contract to install conventional noise barriers along almost 5km of the M40.
The project was originally intended to generate electricity through the use use of photovoltaic (PV) enabled noise barriers and PV solar panels. However following a feasibility study Highways England asked suppliers to develop ‘a more cost affordable solution’ and decided in 2016 to revert to conventional noise barriers.
The scheme aims to reduce noise pollution along the M40 corridor between Loudwater (near junction 3 of the motorway) in Buckinghamshire and Wheatley (near junction 8) in South Oxfordshire. Noise barriers are planned for sections near High Wycombe, as well as near the Buckinghamshire villages of Lane End, Stokenchurch and Chepping Wycombe.
Five of the sites involve direct work to highway structures, and account for 1.9km of the proposed 4.9km of barrier.
Dave Brown, who was recently appointed to lead on GRAHAM’s collaborative delivery framework (CDF) with Highways England, said: ‘To ensure the scheme is as cost effective as possible, the supplier has identified innovative solutions at Loudwater Viaduct, limiting barrier height while still maintaining a reduction in noise.
‘GRAHAM is committed to undertaking schemes like this in a collaborative manner, engaging the local community and working closely with Highways England to deliver improvements which will be beneficial for those who reside in the area.’
Highways England has been liaising with the M40 Core Group since 2005 over noise along the M40 corridor. It has been working with the M40 Chiltern Environmental Group (M40 CEG), Wycombe District Council and South Oxfordshire District Council, to develop proposals to reduce noise .