The path of even the most well planned projects can be affected by unexpected discoveries! This was shown during the A30 Honiton to Exeter Improvement scheme when, in August 1997, the site of a 1st century AD Roman military base and later civil settlement was found at Pomeroy Wood. Although the presence of a Roman site alongside the line of a known Roman road (the earlier version of the A30) was not unlikely, what was unusual was that no trace of it had been seen on aerial photographs, which was how most of the A30 sites were identified. The site was instead found during the watching brief that ran throughout the construction programme.
Although the A30 and its associated project, the A35 Tolpuddle to Puddletown Bypass in Dorset, were on a large scale, WA was just about to start work on a bigger project. Work on the Channel Tunnel High Speed Rail Link (CTRL) involved archaeologists from several different companies. WA carried out an evaluation of the Roman town of Vagniacae at Springhead in Kent, the first stage of work that continued into 2003.
A large-scale project of a completely different sort was drawing to a close in 1997. The Southern Rivers Palaeolithic Survey (later the English Rivers Palaeolithic Survey), which had been commissioned by English Heritage in 1991, had set out to assess known Palaeolithic material against the likelihood and location of sites as yet unknown which might become threatened by future gravel or sand extraction.