The £32 million construction of the A45 link road was designed to improve transport links between Northampton and Daventry. In 2012 we were able to provide robust evaluations of the site, which meant we could advise KierWSP on the design of the route, which avoided additional unnecessary costs to the scheme whilst also preserving the local archaeology.
Our initial desk-based assessments, identified a number of archaeological sites, including a prehistoric settlement and activity, two Neolithic longbarrows, a Romano-British farm and a medieval road. Subsequently, we negotiated a programme of rapid survey including geophysical survey, trial trenching and paleo-environmental analysis. This work confirmed the 6 known sites and identified a late Iron Age enclosure. Due to the nature of the archaeology, we advised the client to move the position of the road by a short distance to the south to avoid the two most significant archaeological sites. A revised route was approved on the condition that a further stage of evaluation was necessary to demonstrate the absence of further sites.
We were able to organise this programme around the site’s time constraints and ensured that each stage of work commenced immediately after harvest to reduce compensation costs for farmers. This not only resulted in the completion of our work before construction started, but also reduced the project’s impact on local trade and commerce. In addition, part of the work was conducted as a local community excavation and was profiled by the local authority for their website. This promoted community engagement and increased the positive reputation of the project within the community.
By negotiating with the local authority, all 36 landowners and collecting extensive high quality data of the entire route, we were able to negotiate a much lower requirement for excavation by reducing the area of archaeology under threat so that the minimal archaeological requirements remained.