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Reclaiming swathes of land across south west Manchester to extend a motorway built on embankments has not been easy. There have been 14 former landfill sites to mitigate, along with soft alluvial ground, making some areas extremely unstable. So far 1.2Mt of earthworks have been placed, along with a huge range of ground strengthening techniques involving 1,500 continuous flight auger piles, 5,700 vertical stone columns, 1,700 vertical concrete columns and 12,000 band drains.