Bell Common Tunnel Wins Award

16 July 2010

The £93m M25 Bell Common Tunnel refurbishment project has won the ‘Physical Achievement > £2.5m’ category at the ICE’s East of England Merit Awards. 

Bell Common Tunnel team left to right Carl Scrymgeour, Andrew Firth, John buckley

Bell Common Tunnel, team left to right: Carl Scrymgeour, Andrew Firth, John Buckley

Following the success of the M25 Holmesdale Tunnel Refurbishment, a multidisciplinary Capita Symonds team was appointed as Costain’s designer for the Highways Agency Early Contractor Involvement scheme in 2008.

The project opened two months early, under budget, and with an excellent safety record. 

Originally opened in 1984 as part of the M25 North Orbital Motorway, the Tunnel is approximately 500 metres long and located in a semi rural location in Epping Forest with a cricket pitch on the roof. 

The scheme included the removal of raised walkways to meet disability access requirements, improve access for emergency services and the facilitating of carriageway widening works.  The ventilation was also brought up to current European standards by the construction of a Saccardo nozzle fan system located at the tunnel portals to control pollution and smoke in the event of a fire. 

The tunnel has a dimmable lighting system to reduce energy consumption while other works included installation of passive fire protection and provision of an Automatic Video Incident Detection system. 

A Capita Symonds design team mainly from the East Grinstead office undertook all the design work, working closely with Costain and a number of key suppliers. There were a number of environmental issues concerning ecological management in the adjacent Epping Forest which have been solved thanks to extensive liaison with the Corporation of London.