ANIMALS CAN cross the Channel Tunnel Rail Link route safely thanks to two woodland landbridges developed by CTRL engineers, members of Railway Civil Engineer Association heard recently.
Environmental engineer Paul Johnson told the meeting at the ICE on the environmental challenges of the CTRL project.
The route of Contract 330 cuts an ancient woodland in half, causing a secion to be isolated between the track and the M2, fragmenting the area's habitat and inhibiting free movement of the animal population.
The landbridges provide a corridor for animals to move between the areas of woodland remaining both sides of the railway.
The landbridges are 16m and 19m wide respectively and have been covered with a 1m deep layer of soil, into which shrubs and small trees are being planted to provide a woodland canopy across the railway.
Johnson added that care had been taken in the design of the landbridges to ensure that the necessary soil conditions were provided for the survival of the plants, along with suitable shrubs to meet the needs of one of Kent's smallest residents - the hazel dormouse.