Significant progress on two large excavations for a new automotive factory in Wolverhampton has been made following delivery of large hydraulic props from Groundforce Shorco.
Specialist contractor O’Brien Contractors is undertaking the £4.6M groundworks element on the £126.3M For Ashes Park scheme for main contractor Readie Construction.
The site is being developed for Gestkamp which produces chassis and components for car-makers including BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Honda, Nissan-Renault and Toyota.
The T-shaped deep excavations being undertaken by O’Brien to form the Transfer Press Pit and the Progression Press Pit, which are 70.9m and 63.5m long, respectively, and up to 30m at their widest points.
The 6m-deep pits are excavated in poor ground with lateral support provided by 600mm diameter secant-piled walls topped with a reinforced concrete capping beam. Groundforce specified its 125t capacity MP125 hydraulic props to brace the capping beams.
“One of the biggest challenges has been the adverse ground conditions following the wet winter months,” commented Groundforce project manager Adam Lane. A high water-table and weak soils meant that the excavations have had to be constantly monitored for signs of structural movement.
For this, Groundforce supplied its advanced load monitoring system to provide continuous measurements of the lateral forces acting on the supports. Three load pins were installed in each excavation with readings transmitted wirelessly to remote devices for constant monitoring.