In Summer 2021, VolkerGround Engineering was awarded a programme of works by Kier Highways, to provide temporary steel sheet piling, Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) and rotary bored piling. This work was done as part of the A585 Windy Harbour to Skippool Improvement project. The finished scheme provides a new bypass to improve the flow of vehicle traffic around the Poulton-Le-Fylde area, with a new over bridge expanding the road capacity from two to four lanes.
The first phase at Skippool Bridge required VolkerGround Engineering to install a 682m2 steel sheet piled retaining wall. This was to enable access to the waterway for the concrete team to install 23.5 metre deep, 750mm diameter CFA bearing piles, enabling the construction of abutments for a new section of Skippool Bridge. With piles required on both sides of the bridge the team carried out inter-site moves across the carriageway, under Kier Traffic Management, to access the A585 north facing, east and west abutments. With a further visit to install the piles for the south facing abutments.
The second and larger phase included the installation of 322, 1,180mm diameter rotary bored concrete piles, up to 30 metres deep. These formed primary and secondary secant retaining walls, buttress and pier piles for construction of the Lodge Lane underpass, bridge and bypass.
An additional element of works was added to VolkerGround Engineering’s scope; the inclusion of expansion joints constructed within a pile which would allow for movement in case of an accident, extreme weather damage or stress. Something that had not been previously attempted.
VolkerGround Engineering overcame many other challenges to complete this project. The location of the works required detailed planning to ensure the team adapted to local material supplies and the extreme winds naturally associated with this area of the country. Fabrication of the movement joints delayed the programme, but the team were able to adapt and provide enough flexibility to work around this. Just in time deliveries and close collaboration with the cage suppliers allowed VolkerGround Engineering to capture all revisions of the design.
This project has provided VolkerGround Engineering with extremely valuable and unique experience in movement joint installation.