In the heart of Ashford town centre in Kent, working around roads, railway lines, homes and offices, Kvaerner Cementation Foundations is almost three quarters of the way through one of the largest and most challenging ground engineering projects it has ever carried out.
The company, which celebrates its 80th birthday this year, is working with Kvaerner Construction and its partner, Rail Link Engineering, on a complex section of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
Kvaerner Construction’s £140 million contract takes the route through 10km of countryside to the west of Ashford and through the town centre and its existing international station on a 1.6km cut and cover tunnel and a 1.4km viaduct.
This is where the majority of Kvaerner Cementation Foundations’ £21 million contract is concentrated. Since February last year the company has constructed more than 3,000 large diameter piles of between 0.9 metres and 1.5 metres in diameter to depths of up to 35 metres.
It has used some 72,000 cubic metres of concrete and has placed over 12,000 tonnes of reinforced steel. Cementation Foundations has also used six piling rigs. Two Bauer BG30 rigs were purchased at the start of the contract to increase the company’s capacity, while a third new rig, a Soilmec R928, which has recently been added to the fleet, will also be used in Ashford.
As well as working on the major town centre structures, Cementation Foundations has provided ground engineering solutions through soil nails, mini piles and ground anchors for temporary works throughout Kvaerner Construction’s contract.
Alan Day, project manager for Kvaerner Cementation Foundations in Ashford, commented: “Working on one of the largest projects we have ever carried out and piling close to railway lines, roads and homes, has proved challenging. However, the partnership formed between ourselves, Kvaerner Construction and Rail Link Engineering has ensured that any problems we have faced have been solved quickly.”
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