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Preserving history and building the future

Navigating through recently discovered Roman ruins and the foundations for a railway viaduct was a challenge to contractor Rock & Alluvium as it worked on the new Worcester Library and History Centre.

Navigating through recently discovered Roman ruins and the foundations for a railway viaduct was a challenge to contractor Rock & Alluvium as it worked on the new Worcester Library and History Centre.

Its task included installing 440 bearing piles, each 450mm in diameter on three varying platform levels. A contiguous piled wall made up of a further 140 piles of the same diameter also had to be positioned.

Varying levels

The varying platform levels meant sequencing the piling and follow-on groundworks had to be carefully managed. Pile lengths varied between 8m and 15m, and a rock socket had to be designed and created for the higher loaded piles.

The ground profile was generally sandy clays overlying sandstone on a city centre site with a railway viaduct at its northern perimeter. Precision boring methods were also employed to avoid disturbing recent Roman archaeological finds.

Worth £250,000 and lasting seven weeks, the piling was carried out for Worcestershire County Council, in partnership with the University of Worcester. The work forms part of the £60M Worcester Library and History Centre PFI project for which Rock and Alluvium’s parent company Galliford Try is lead sponsor, principal investor and main building contractor.

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