VIDEO: Gabions used to extend HGV area at Cobham Services
The Cobham Motorway Service Area (MSA) is located at J10 of the M25 motorway. The site opened in 2012 and is a single site used by traffic in both directions. The service area currently contains a customer service building with restaurants and refreshment areas, retail facilities, a gamezone, toilets, showers, pay phones and cash machines. This building is located in a central position to the southern end of the MSA away from the motorway.
It is necessary to expand the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) parking as the site has been extremely popular and runs beyond capacity. The lack of parking space has resulted in the lorries parking on the slip roads and access roads into the site, causing congestion and safety concerns.
The proposal was to increase the parking numbers by 79 new spaces, to the west of the petrol filling station (PFS). The proposal sits into the ground to aid functionality and reduce its visual impact, retaining the slopes with gabion walls. Tree planting and earth modelling will suit the current surrounding landscape.
A mixture of gabions for smaller heights and Gabion Terramesh® for larger heights was the chosen solution for value engineering purposes. The site consisted of a 300m wall up to 5.5m high and a 100m wall 2m high.
Gabion Terramesh® is a modular gabion-faced soil reinforcement system. Each unit comprises a gabion fascia unit and an integral factory-fitted soil reinforcement geogrid. The strength, length and spacing of the geogrids is dependent on the design of the structure which is sized to restrain the forces applied to it by the retained soils and the surcharge loads.