Michael Walsh in Bartlemy, Fermoy, Co. Cork has land separated by a busy road.

Michael calculated that he loses 1 hours work every day because of trying to cross the road that lies between his fields.

Michael decided to solve this problem by contacting Croom Concrete to provide a cattle underpass beneath the road and avoid the unnecessary and dangerous disruption to traffic that he encountered daily.

Michael runs the farm himself and it had proved costly in the past to employ someone to help with this issue and also, from time to time, burdensome on his neighbours. The newly installed underpass relieves this daily issue.

On this project Croom Concrete had to overcome the issue of installing a box culvert over two levels of ground.

The Lower Section:

The lower section was approx. 5m below road level and falling quickly. It was a very good site for installing an underpass because it was very easy to drain as water can flow straight out onto field. As the underpass could be made free draining this mitigated any concerns from the County Council in terms of ground pollution and contamination. There was a need for a very short exit ramp of approx. 10m

Higher Section:

The higher section was approx. 1m above road level and rising quickly to a height level of roughly 3m over road at rear of the dig. Ground conditions were extremely good with a brown boulder clay for the first 1m and the rest being a brown shale rock. The dig was nearly 5m at the rear and ground conditions were ideal because of the ability of the ground to hold and stand leading to very safe work environment. On the high side there was a problem with ground water, but because the dig had started on the lower side and progressed across through the road and into the higher side, the water could exit through this channel.

Installing Precast

There was significant problems with getting materials to site because of very poor road infrastructure. Croom had to rely heavy on its specialised fleet of truck to get material to site. Once material was on site and following proper preparation of the ground a 10m underpass made with 3.5m x 2.1m precast concrete box culverts were installed in under two hours including the parapet walls and the precast wing walls (u-Channels). Through the use of all these precast items the road was re-opened within 24hrs of it been closed, a clear sign of how off site manufacturing can reduce time on site compared to on site manufacturing.


Concrete Work

Following the excavations works and the installation of the precast items, mass concrete walls were poured on the higher side of the road so that the field could be reinstated. All concrete work was carried out by the Croom Civil shuttering team. This wall was 5m at its highest and falling off to 1m at its lowest. All walls were reinforced and manufactured to a thickness of 300mm. a steel cross support beam was also installed to improve the stability of the mass concrete wall. All ramps were concrete on both sides and through the underpass allowing all water to be discharged on the lower side of the underpass.



Pipes were placed at either side of the box culverts and behind the mass concrete wall to improve drainage, and to prevent pressure building up behind the mass concrete wall.

All planning, traffic issues and council road opening licences were carried out by Croom’s technical dept.
The entire project from excavations through to the concrete work was completed within 2 weeks, an extremely confident and positive result when all the negative factors associated with the job are taken into consideration.

Customer testimonial: Croom did an efficient, no nonsense job. The guys worked away themselves and did as good a job as if they were installing the underpass for themselves. They took pride in the work and displayed good workmanship. – Michael Walsh

For more information on Croom Concrete Box culverts, or our other products, contact our team at croomconcrete.co.uk.