25 April 2011

Is the Steep Sand Hill Stable?

I was walking by the Tesco site today ( what great weather we are having ), and noticed quite a lot of water bubbling up from the ground by the Tram stop. What really amazed me was the height of the sand mountain ( way over 2 metres ), and with a very steep slope to the top. Hard to judge, but it looked like at least 45 degrees. Now I am not an expert, but with Class 1B material ( the new quiet sand ), the maximum slope for highways use is about 30 degrees once compacted. Anything more is deemed unstable. Is it really safe to allow the tram to run past this mountain? If this amount of sand were to collapse onto the tram tracks while a tram were passing, that would have very serious consequences for tram and driver/passengers. Other than the water being pumped by the contractor and emptied into the drain, where is all of the other water going. What are the potential impacts on the stability of other buildings in the area. Near the tram stop it looked like it was saturating the surface soil. Surely this is contrary to the planning conditions for the site which required bunding to prevent runoff.


  1. The highway specification would not be used in this construction project due to the fact that it is not a highway being constructed.

    Concerns over the slope stability are perfectly reasonable but I am sure the construction planners would not take risks when it comes to peoples safety as we do live in a health and safety driven society. As a person with a keen interest in the construction industry, I have come down to Seaton to see the site myself, which I did from a trip on the tramway and it looks pretty amazing. The sand embankment next to the tramway is high but I presume that it is just a surcharge weight, which in-turn will help with the hydraulic compaction.

  2. well the last of the sand on its way in big thanks to westminster dredging fore getting the job done and yes it was a bit bade to start but soon went so so well and as i rite this @ 0105 am
    its bliss ..

  3. Roland Butter7 May 2011 at 08:28

    Yes, well done Westminster Dredging. Despite the frankly embarrassing efforts of the moaning busy bodies who attempt to stall or disrupt the operation at every turn, you have done an amazing job.