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Eurotunnel Terminal Works 

Description of Works 

FM Conway’s Civil Engineering division was employed by Eurotunnel to create extra space at its terminal near Folkestone in Kent.

Due to Brexit, Eurotunnel was experiencing a much longer wait time at customs for vehicles needing to having paperwork checked before leaving the country.

Services used on this project Major Projects Surfacing
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As part of Eurotunnel’s preparation, the client had already begun plans to construct a 50m x 46m steel-framed canopy, adding extra approach lanes to accommodate lorries and check paperwork.

FM Conway’s Civil Engineering team was therefore required to construct 33 large reinforced concrete bases and plinths to support the new canopy, as well as widening the approach lanes and building a new staff car park.

The team were required to dig 2.5m deep excavations, predominantly in soft sand, to construct the bases. This required substantial temporary works that had to be designed in-house by FM Conway’s Consultancy team.

However, the project was required to be carried out whilst the check-in lanes remained opened, so a swift resolution was needed. Therefore, the team worked with concrete supplier Brett Concrete to design a self-compacting and fast-curing concrete mix to ensure the check-in lanes could be reopened quickly.

There was also collaboration with the FM Conway Surfacing division who laid a total of 571.5t of material to build the new staff car park, surface the approach lanes and build a new footpath.

All of the material was supplied by the business’ Erith Asphalt Plant, and 90% of the material that was excavated or broken out from the project, including 1,560t of concrete, was sent off to FM Conway’s plants to be recycled.

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Due to the location of the project, the programme of works was required to be delivered under tight security constraints.

Challenges and Solutions 

All staff had to be security vetted and issued with security passes in order to work within the secure environment.

Furthermore, this extended to site deliveries, meaning that these had to be booked in advance. Fortunately, FM Conway’s self-delivery capability enabled this part of the project to still run smoothly.

The project was then hit with a further issue when a new COVID-19 variant was identified, causing France to temporarily stop lorries entering the country. This led to the government initiating the Operation Brock traffic management system which meant thousands of trucks were parked on nearby roads to the work being carried out.

To combat this, as well as to protect colleagues from COVID-19, the team were segregated into work gangs with their own welfare facilities in order to maintain safe distance and enabled access to the live site in the busy circumstances.


The project was successfully delivered with minimal disruption to Eurotunnel, amid a myriad of issues caused as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.