I write having had some amusement reading my wife's copy of NCE this week, in particular the article Undetected sulphates blamed for A10 heave (News last week).
As an agronomist who walked those soils for many years, I probably like many others was fully aware of the variable nature and high sulphate content where the Wadesmill bypass was routed.
It seems that site investigations miss a simple enhancement, namely surveying the previous users of soils for their intimate historic knowledge.
In the Wadesmill case it would probably have shown a dichotomy between that historic knowledge and the results of the first site investigation. That dichotomy may have suggested that further investigation was worthwhile and so avoid the subsequent problems.
Alan Rix, alan@rix1. demon.co.uk