Green Bridges & Tunnels

Green bridges (also known as landscape bridges or wildlife overpasses) allow birds, mammals and insects to keep moving despite a railway or road being in their path. At ABG we have developed geosynthetic systems that allow green bridges to attenuate stormwater as part of a site wide SuDS plan, while providing protection to waterproofing and preventing the build up of hydrostatic pressure on the structure.

Typical applications

  • Dual carriageway & motorway bridges
  • HS2 & Network rail tunneling projects


  • Effective irrigation and drainage layers for green structures
  • Low carbon alternative to stone drainage layers
  • Light-weight solution – reduces site transport & lifting requirements
  • Connection of habitat and wildlife linkages

The report “Green Bridges – A Literature Review (NECR181)” was commissioned by Natural England and is the first worldwide study of green bridges. It identified that green bridges can make an important contribution to sustainability by:

  • Creating a safe crossing point for wildlife
  • Joining up habitats and connecting colonies
  • Providing a home for wildlife
  • Creating a crossing point for people
  • Facilitating movement of beneficial pollinators
  • Integrating roads and railways into the surrounding landscape

A green bridge can significantly reduce the environmental impact of linear assets such as highways and railways by addressing the severance effect.

ABG’s green bridge technology provides structural drainage and physical protection to the structure, and also allows attenuation of rain water to mitigate the effects of storm events. The ABG system is significantly lighter than traditional solutions, helping to minimise dead-loads while storing water to sustain trees and vegetation during dry periods. Our geosynthetic systems can be applied both to new build and retrofit schemes.

Green Tunnels

Green tunnels, also commonly known as cut and cover tunnels, provide similar environmental benefits to green bridges but over longer stretches.

Cut and cover tunnelling is one of the oldest tunnel construction methods. At a basic level the tunnel is constructed by excavating to the required level, constructing the tunnel and then covering it.

ABG Deckdrain geocomposite is used to enhance and protect the waterproofing and provide drainage for the structure, which removes the need for bulky porous blocks and the logistical challenge of importing granular fill.

The cover over the tunnel becomes “green” when it is designed from an ecological perspective and minimises the impact of the structure on the surrounding environment. Part of that design consideration should be the movement of materials during the construction phase which can create a significant carbon cost. Using ABG Deckdrain has been shown to offer a carbon saving of more than 90% when compared to traditional methods.

Green bridges and green tunnels allow us to integrate our expertise in green infrastructure with our long established background in civil engineering.

Structural Drainage of Green Bridges and Tunnels

As part of the design of both green bridges and cut and cover or green tunnels, the external surfaces of the structure should be waterproofed and a drainage system is required to relieve pore water pressure on the crown of the structure.

A cost effective and quick installation without the need for specialist handling equipment, without overloading the structure or damaging the waterproofing membrane during construction, would be the installation of a drainage geosynthetic. ABG Deckdrain drainage geocomposite is an alternative to the more expensive porous block drainage systems.

Click for more information on our geosynthetic systems for Tunnels, Railways and Highways

Typical Client Profile

  • Structural engineers
  • Sustainability consultants
  • Highways & rail engineers



Case studies

Additional information

Contact ABG for further information

Fill out our quick contact form with your product, application, technical or sales enquiry and one of our team will be in touch soon.