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Slope-climbing rig makes short work of site investigation

A STEEP incline crawler SI rig was sampling a slope in Dukinfield near Manchester as GE went to press.

Gloucester-based Geotechnical Engineering mobilised one of its new P45 slope-climbing rigs for consultant Shepherd Gilmour Environment's ground investigation of a brownfi eld site on behalf of client Grasscroft Homes.

The narrow site comprises about 0.8ha of steeply sloping (up to 40infinity) very hummocky and in places heavily vegetated land. It lies between a road at the top of the slope and a terrace of Victorian houses at the base.

Grasscroft intends to build a small development of houses and an access road across the slope on cut and fill platforms.

The site investigation will address possible contamination, potential gas issues, ground conditions and slope stability.

Seven boreholes were put down, four on the slope using the P45 rig - which can climb at up to 50degrees from the horizontal - and three at the crest using a standard cable-percussion rig. Holes were a maximum 15m deep or down to rockhead. Three of the slope boreholes and one on the crest will be fited with standpipes for water monitoring.

'The geology of the slope is anticipated to be 10-12m of glacial sands and clays overlying bedrock, ' said Geotechnical Engineering divisional manager Stuart Tod.

'Our P45 rig was chosen because of its ability to access borehole positions on the slope with no prior works, such as temporary access roads or scaffold platforms. The current version of the P45 rig is set up to use plastic liners to contain the dynamic sampling, ' he said.

The ground investigation phase was expected to take a week.

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