Articles & Case Studies

Lean on me

Posted: Friday 26th October 2007

Durable concrete piles are installed on a canal towpath in Lancashire to provide a foundation for a new bridge designed to support a dilapidated structure carrying electrical cables across the water.

Engineers from Roger Bullivant Ltd (RBL) look on as a custom built ‘kitten’ rig installs short sections of 250mm diameter augered flight to create four piles, each 9m in length. As the auger reaches full depth, the ground is flushed with concrete and sections of flight are slowly removed, drawing concrete to the surface.

The existing bridge carries two 33,000 volt electrical cables over the Leeds & Liverpool Canal near Wigan and is showing signs of decay. A decision was taken to leave the existing bridge in situ – and bolt a new supporting structure to it – to ensure power supplies were not disrupted for local residents.

The augered technique was chosen for the piling as it creates very little vibration and did not threaten to disturb electrical services, says RBL engineer Tim Speak.

Piling equipment and a grout batching plant were tracked to site along the canal towpath and the weight of equipment had to be restricted to a maximum of 1.9 tonnes to limit surcharge loading to the canal wall.

Services were exposed and backfilled and pile positions marked out with a sleeve to allow piles to be installed immediately adjacent to the services.

Foundation works were carried out in June on behalf of main contractor DH Welton and client United Utilities.

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