27th January 2018

Knowledge Type



, Crossrail Ltd

Major Project



Lorna Mellings BSc MSc CEnv MIEMAGreg Limna BEng(Hons) CEng MICE

Of Interest To

Public sector clients

Excavated Materials Story


The construction of the Crossrail project resulted in the generation of over 7 million tonnes of excavated material, of which over 98% was beneficially reused.  Crossrail adopted a client-led approach to the reuse of the material (whereby some of the destination sites and means of transportation were specified to contractors by Crossrail) together with flexibility to allow some of the individual contracts to make their own arrangements for beneficial reuse as appropriate.  The benefits of adopting a client-led approach were that it allowed a significant proportion of the material to be used to create a landmark new nature conservation project at Wallasea Island, whilst the early definition of a solution reduced the programme risk associated with a potential lack of suitable disposal sites during the main tunnelling and excavation works and it also allowed the development of infrastructure to allow transportation by water and the early allocation of rail paths which together contributed to 80% (per tonne km) of the excavated material being transported by rail or water.

This paper describes the approach followed by Crossrail to reuse the excavated material from the project, identifying the main stages of the process, the key activities undertaken by both the client and contractor and the lessons learned from implementation.  It will be of use to clients of major infrastructure projects who are looking to adopt a similar approach to the reuse of excavated material. The lessons learned at construction sites that were implementing the Crossrail requirements will also be of use to any project or contractor who is disposing of excavated material.