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Brett Supplies Concrete To The East Kent Access Project

Brett is one of the main suppliers on the East Kent Access Phase Two project, an £87m joint-venture between Volkerfitzpatrick and Hochtief.

Brett is one of the main suppliers on the East Kent Access Phase Two project, an £87m joint-venture between Volkerfitzpatrick and Hochtief. Brett is one of the main suppliers on the East Kent Access Phase Two project, an £87m joint-venture between VolkerFitzpatrick and Hochtief.

The purpose of this government-funded scheme is to improve road access into north-east Kent. Once completed East Kent Access Phase Two will provide 8km (5 miles) of new dual carriageway on roads around the Isle of Thanet. It will help support the economy of east Kent and connect the ports of Dover and Ramsgate and Kent International Airport. This will complete improvements of the A299 Thanet Way and A256 that were started in the 1980’s.

Brett Concrete was awarded the order to supply the joint venture from March 2010 with volumes in excess of 25,000m3. This contained a requirement to complete six 1,000m3 of concrete for the newly designed Cliffsend underpass, large structural pours ranging up to 350m3 at Cottington Road together with supplies to road and drainage sections of the contract.

A Brand New Plant at Ramsgate

Brett Concrete commissioned the building of a new high-tech concrete plant at Ramsgate Harbour, managed by Mark Carver, supported by the plant at Broadstairs, managed by Sid Wood. The new plant was erected against a challenging timescale to ensure Brett Concrete met the required start date for the major pours. Brett coordinated the installation of the Command Alkon Batch Plant control system and a new mains electricity supply laid across the entire harbour whilst ensuring that strict security of the operational port was maintained.

Once the Major pours were completed the new Ramsgate plant replaced Broadstairs, allowing Brett to supply the general market from a new plant containing the latest technology.

Technical Challenge – The Longest Jacked Structure in The World

The Cliffsend Underpass is the major and unique design and build element of the East Kent Access Phase 2 contract. The structure provides a route for the new dual carriageway, which sits in a 15m deep cutting either side of the railway. The proximity of local properties on both sides of the railway meant that an over-bridge solution was not viable. Box Jacking is a well tested technique for building tunnels and underpasses with minimal disruption to existing road and rail infrastructure. The one at Cliffsend is believed to be the most impressive example of jacking within the last ten years, and the longest jacked structure in the world.


As well as the size of the structure the whole operation is taking place without a single disruption to trains running in excess of 60mph!The Network Rail infrastructure and especially the railway lines together with the supporting ground have to be constantly monitored. Any change in the railway track alignment even by a few millimetres ?vertically or horizontally has an impact. If track movement approached the determined thresholds then realignment takes place at night during no- train hours.

Our People

Brett Concrete is working closely with the main contractors at every stage to ensure that timescales are met, mixes correct and good communication established.

Malcom Cook, Field Sales Manager for Brett Concrete maintains regular contact with site and is one of the team who plan the following week’s concrete schedule to ensure that supplies meet practical considerations from both the JV and Brett perspectives.The Brett Group’s people and their commitment to providing an excellent service is what helps us deliver projects like these.

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