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Staff pile on the hours


KEEPING RAIL services running smoothly was a key priority on Westpile's piling contract for the enabling works at King's Cross and St Pancras, even though it meant site staff giving up some of their Christmas holiday last year.

Westpile and main contractor Kier/Nuttall JV identified early on that careful planning and coordination was needed to avoid disruption. This meant installing piles for several structures during 55 hour long weekend possessions, including one running from midnight on Christmas Day through to the early hours of 27 December.

Large diameter rotary auger bored piles were installed close to live rails, which meant the delivery of 600m 3of concrete. Storing and installing 100t of steel reinforcement in the confined working areas also had to be carefully co-ordinated.

Westpile used a number of rigs on the site, but mainly its R622 Soilmec rig, which can install both large diameter CFA and rotary auger bored piles. System choice depended on pile diameters and length needed. The largest pile, installed on Christmas morning, was 1,800mm in diameter and 38m long and involved the placing over 100m 3ofconcrete and 10t of steel.

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