Description of social and environmental performance.
Construction of the new bridge across the Mersey estuary and work on the next step of the existing road network, aim to provide a road connection linking the area of the city of Liverpool to Cheshire.
As in all similar projects, and even more so if they are in an urban area, the acoustic impact of construction work is one of the most troublesome for inhabitants as it can alter their daily routines, cause stress, headaches and other side effects. Also, it is worth noting that this impact continues throughout the life cycle of these civil engineering works.
Due to the noise from the project execution and operations, a Plan to Manage Noise and Vibrations was designed prior to initiating the works, in order to minimise the impact caused to residents in the area.
With the implementation of the first phase of the plan, effects of noise and vibration for each of the construction and use phases were identified, and also the approximate duration of each phase. Noise measurement was also performed before starting construction work to determine the baseline noise levels and identify the most vulnerable areas.
As part of aforementioned management plan, activities that produce noise and vibrations were identified, and each case studied in order to design preventive and/ or mitigation measures aimed at reducing the impact of the noise on both neighbours and local fauna.
The measures selected were quite diverse, depending on the nature of the noise. In general, it was agreed that works staff would be informed of the need to minimise noise affecting residents and limit the working hours of certain noisier activities, located in areas that the receptors detected as more sensitive. Another of the measures planned for the construction phase is to form a pile of building materials to create a protective screen, both for noise and dust. Regarding the transport of materials, this will take place, whenever possible, within working hours.
For the use phase, once construction is finished, the plan is to install sound barriers on both sides of the road to keep the impact for residents in the surrounding areas to a minimum.
As a result of the implementation of the first phase of the Plan to Manage Noise and Vibrations, baseline noise levels have been established and the most vulnerable areas where the largest impact may occur have been identified.
Project activities that generate noise have also been identified and the correct preventive and mitigation measures have been selected to address each problem as it occurs. Because the project is still in the very early stages, we have not been able to verify the effectiveness of these chosen noise reduction measures. We do anticipate however, that these measures will result in a reduction of the inconvenience to the surrounding population and consequently fewer complaints and greater acceptance of the project.