A349 Gravel Hill

Road Stabilisation Scheme

The A349 Gravel Hill is a busy arterial route connecting the A31 with Poole Town Centre and the Port of Poole and carries approximately 28,000 vehicles per day, the route is bordered by council and privately owned land, which includes protected woodland, SSSI, SPA, and SNCI.

Mildren Construction were awarded the contract under the Generation 3 Civil Engineering, Highways and Transportation Infrastructure Works Framework Two (2016 to 2020). The backbone of the scheme was the stabilisation of an existing highway embankment, the refurbishment of an existing culvert, footway widening to include new cycleway for the full length of Gravel Hill, and facilitating the improved junction works giving increased capacity, renewed signals and a new toucan crossing. Works also included the construction of new access tracks, and renewal of highway drainage with new surface water attenuation ponds within the adjacent woodland. To facilitate the work, the road was totally closed for a significant duration within the construction period.

The primary constraints that had to be managed were as follows. The major junction had to remain open during the works, and therefore traffic management was key for the safety of the public and workforce. Vehicular access was needed for residents throughout the works, as well as provision for refuse collections and deliveries. A safe route for pedestrians and cyclists had to be maintained throughout the works, due to the lengthy alternative rote. Within or immediately adjacent to the site were SSSI, SNCI, a watercourse, protected trees, protected species, and invasive non-native plants.

Public engagement and communication was key and many letters complimenting the project, and how it was managed, were received by Borough of Poole Council.

The project had no reportable accidents, the road re-opened on time, the overall project was completed two months early, and the scheme was within budget. The client team reported that the site team and client actively worked together “in a spirit of mutual trust and co-operation”

Value of development


Development time

18 weeks

Project type


Opened on time

No reportable accidents


A349 Gravel Hill

Delph Road, Wimborne BH21 1RS, UK