In February 2020, VolkerGround Engineering was awarded a contract from VBA to install 478 linear metres of sheet piles in Egremont, Cumbria, as part of the Skirting Beck flood risk management scheme.
Before installing 2,390m2 of AZ14-700 steel sheet piles with an ABI TM16/20 leader rig, the VolkerGround Engineering team pre-augered the areas which were in close proximity to services. This enabled the team to mitigate vibration levels and work in line with the easement restrictions set out by the service provider.
The biggest challenge faced by the team was to avoid known and unknown services that were present along the pile line. These had to be exposed in order to pitch the piles. The team then measured and fabricated a number of corner clutches to cater for the variety of change in directions on the line.
The installation sequence was also fragmented due to the requirement to break the pile line, in order to allow for live services, including water, sewer and gas to be accommodated or diverted.
VolkerGround Engineering worked closely with the VBA site team to ensure that the works ran smoothly. VBA ensured that people and plant were segregated, to enable works to begin promptly and keep the workforce safe throughout. VolkerGround Engineering also followed Covid-19 guidelines during its work, using segregated welfare facilities, staggered breaks and social distancing on site.
The team finished the piling works ahead of schedule, despite having to resequence the works a number of times. Julian Wilson, VBA contracts manager, commented:
“The VolkerGround Engineering team worked proactively with the site team to ensure that all preparatory works were completed as required, ahead of arrival at site. This allowed unfettered access, and with the help of some good weather, the installation outputs were beaten, which in turn helped the overall programme.”