Construction sites offer different challenges as far as accessibility is concerned. This follows the fact that there is a mass movement of men (labour) as well as material haulers. These range from pick up trucks to trailers. Depending on the items being moved, the weight is different and as such the capability of the route to and from site should match these requirements. There will also be visitors in light personal vehicles, especially consultants and prospective property buyers in case of commercial projects or prospective tenants in case of residential or other rental spaces. The available or provided access should well cater for these requirements as far as is possible. The different site conditions include;
· Virgin sites: This refers to a new site where no other construction activity has been done before. This means that there is no access to the specific point of construction. Where such route may be available, it may not be sufficient and might need improvement. This may include works like cutting down trees, cutting high sections and filling low ones, dumping murram or other appropriate material. It will also include compaction, wetting and curing of the dumped material. Being a new and sometimes temporary route, it will need maintenance. Where such access is to pass through other people’s property, appropriate permissions should be sought. The local authorities must also be notified and provided with plans like ways of averting problems like ecological disturbance. It is usually wise to have the access route for construction being also the permanent access to the permanent route for accessing the completed facility.
· Existing sites: These are sites that have already been built upon previously. They may have existing access. The only hurdle would be where such access is still in use by others, as it will create an inconvenience and delivery use might be regulated to low peak periods only. There could also arise the need to provide alternative routes for the existing users. A good example here is road maintenance or improvement works, whereby diversions are created and maintained in good order during the construction period. Appropriate arrangements should be made to minimize inconvenience as well as prevent accidents.
· Tight Sites: These are unique sites in the fact that they have minimal space for maneuverability. Examples here are found in town centers or institutions. Regulation here is very strict and as such stringent measures should be put in place to follow such regulations. These sites are very difficult to manage as far as accessibility is concerned. An example is where concrete is to be delivered on site already mixed (In premix trucks). This presents the headache of timing as well as preventing inconvenience to other users.
The provision of access to sites should be a well thought out activity. Maintenance should be in top priority. The design of such access roads should also cater for the traffic envisaged for the said project. Road signage and other such furniture should be also be provided and well maintained.