Structural Drainage

Back of wall drainage using Deckdrain - A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon, UK

Client Highways England

A14 Integrated Delivery Team

Consultant Jacobs & CH2M Hill

Deckdrain Drainage Geocomposite




– Reduced labour & plant costs
– Reduced pollution resulting from site plant and delivery vehicles
– Rapid installation
– High flow capacity
– Protection to waterproofing

Project Description

The A14 is a strategic trunk road which runs between the M1 Catthorpe Interchange and Felixstowe. The A14 is dual carriageway for most of its route and carries up to 85,000 vehicles per day of which many are HGVs heading to the Port of Felixstowe. Volumes of traffic are now much greater than were anticipated by the original design.

The stretch between Cambridge and Huntingdon is one especially prone to peak time delays and has a poor safety history. Highways England, along with their delivery partner A14 Integrated Delivery Team, are upgrading the carriageway to improve safety, improve air quality and unlock development potential in the area. Some of the scheme involves on-line improvement works
and other areas are complete off-line new construction.

The Challenge

The project involved the construction of a number of structures which were on the key timeline of the project. Many of these structures were of a considerable size and required structural drainage that could be rapidly and safely installed. Traditional methods such as porous blocks were deemed to be slow to construct and posed a high risk of damaging the waterproofing when being manoeuvred into place. Manual handling equipment is required to install traditional systems and construction output is typically low. Furthermore, due to their size and weight, moving materials around on site posed significant logistical problems. Other options considered, such as no fines concrete, required formwork and were expensive to place. Often additional earthworks operations are required further slowing scheme progression.

The Solution

The Contractor recognised the successful use of ABG Deckdrain drainage geocomposite on previous schemes and proposed its use to the consultant and Highways England. On this project the high strength Deckdrain 750S/NW8 and Deckdrain 1250S/NW8 were chosen to withstand anticipated passive earth pressure movement. Deckdrain allowed for safer installation compared to
porous blocks as there is no need for heavy machinery due to it’s lightweight and easy to handle nature. This in turn reduced installation time, labour costs and vehicle movement on site.

ABG Deckdrain geocomposite for vertical wall drainageABG Deckdrain cost saving geocomposite for vertical wall drainage

ABG Deckdrain cost saving geocomposite for vertical wall drainage

The ABG Service

ABG provided technical support to aid product selection and gain approval from Highways England. ABG and the A14 Integrated Delivery Team entered the Deckdrain concept and were shortlisted for the Sustainability Category for the 2019 Construction News Awards.

Contact ABG today to discuss your project specific requirements and discover how ABG past experience and innovative products can help.

Additional information