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Piling begins on historic aqueduct

Murphy Elan Valley 2by3

Murphy & Sons has begun piling work on a scheme to upgrade a 100-year-old aqueduct in Wales.

The contractor was appointed to construct retaining walls for deep shafts at either end of three tunnels being used to upgrade the Elan Valley aqueduct.

The 117km-long aqueduct was opened by King Edward VII in 1907 and has fed water from the Welsh Valleys to Birmingham ever since.

It is being improved by water firm Severn Trent as part of its Birmingham Resilience Project.

For the first shaft of a possible six, Murphy is constructing a combination secant pile and sheet pile wall that will act as a cofferdam for the tunnel boring machine launch shaft.

More than 100 piles of 1,200mm-diameter will be bored up to 15m deep with 24 steel sheet piles installed over the existing sections of the aqueduct.

Work will continue on the shafts throughout this year and into 2017.

New Civil Engineer last year wrote in depth about the importance of the Elan Valley aqueduct and the challenges associated with upgrading it.


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