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Groundforce Mechplant supplied its shoring equipment for a large excavation for the new maternity ward and intensive care unit at Hull Royal Infirmary.

Main contractor Bilfinger and Berger is building the £18M three storey facility for the National Health Service. O'Donnell Civil Engineering is the contractor for the underground work, which consists of a 120m long box culvert built next to existing sewers and under a road. At the deepest section, the tunnel is 7m deep and close to multi-storey buildings.

Ground conditions comprise clay overlying silt. The excavation was supported by Larssen sheet piles, in turn supported by a combination of Mega Brace and hydraulic struts to form a modular bracing system. This allowed the heavy duty waling beam to be rolled along the trench as construction proceeded.

Where underground services such as a Victorian sewer were encountered, a mid-range brace, Maxi Brace, was used.

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