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UK-based equipment manufacturer BSP International Foundations has supplied one of its HH357 hydraulic hammers for a highways contract on the Carribean island of Jamaica.

Korean main contractor Daewoo Construction is currently building the $25M (pounds16M), 42km single carriageway road between Montego Bay and Negril on the west coast of the island. Work includes the construction of 10 bridges that are designed to withstand flash floods and earthquakes.

The hydraulic hammer is being used to drive the 508mm diameter, up to 60m long steel piles to depths of between 26m and 60m and raked at 14degrees through 20m of sand, gravel and clay and into dense shale. The piles are made up of 8m long sections and are welded together on site and an average of 16 are used on each bridge.

BSP says that because the hammer offers complete control over the driving energy, it can be varied from site to site, which is important on jobs such as this, where ground conditions can vary along the alignment.

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