Piling on the success in the UK

At less than 20 years old, Martello Piling may be a relative newcomer in the construction industry but now as a part of Franki Foundations it is busier than ever with projects that call for its piling system which enables the construction of large diameter piles in restricted access and low headroom conditions.

 Site restrictions and obstructions on Project 2020 were overcome by Martello Piling through the use of its lightweight MP4001 rig

Site restrictions and obstructions on Project 2020 were overcome by Martello Piling through the use of its lightweight MP4001 rig

The English seaside resort of Blackpool is famous for its illuminations and the trams service that runs along the seafront allowing visitors to see the entire 10km of light displays. That tram system is now getting a £22 million (US$29 million) extension which will form part of the Talbot Gateway redevelopment project at Blackpool North train Station including a four-star hotel, tramway terminal and commercial and retail space.


While piling for an extension to Blackpool's tram line, Martello staff had to work around the existing tram network

Martello Piling has been called upon to installed 6no. 900mm diameter piles to 6m to support the new tramway extension, along with the facility to install and fix the mast holing bolts directly into the pile, without the need for a pile cap. The work is being done in limited access conditions between the sea wall infrastructure and the existing Tram OLE lines.

In the UK capital Martello Piling is working on a major infrastructure project as a subcontractor to the Costain Vinci Bachy Soletanche joint venture delivering the EastMain Works Contract of the Thames Tideway Tunnel - a 25km Super Sewer to prevent sewage release into the River Thames.

In London, Martello Piling is installing 35no. 850mm diameter secant wall piles to 22m deep at the Greenwich pumping station. The company is using full-length casing to cut the male piles and utilising bentonite fluid to control the variable groundwater conditions caused by the high tidal range of the Thames. To further complicate working conditions Martello has a working platform adjacent to the existing Grade II listed pumping station and in front of an active Docklands Light Railway bridge. In addition, there are ground bearing restrictions due to the existing sewer being directly beneath the working platform, which makes the company's bespoke MP6001 piling rig ideal for the project.

At an equally iconic location in London, the world-famous Piccadilly Circus Martello Piling is working on a major redevelopment project. The building behind the famous ‘Piccadilly lights' at One Sherwood Street will be demolished, the site being be turned into commercial, retail and residential space, while the digital screen and existing facades are retained. Despite access and delivery restrictions due to the site being in an extremely busy area of London, Martello will be installing 161no. 750/900/1050mm diameter piles to 30m within just 3.5m-3.8m of headroom using its restricted access MP4000 Series piling rigs (MP4002 and MP4003). Due to the restrictions on site, the rigs will be lifted into position via crane.

The final job in London is known as ‘Project 2020' and is the refurbishment of a Grade II listed building which will include an additional 40,000sq. ft of additional floor space through rear and rooftop extensions.

On Project 2020 Martello has teamed up with parent company Franki Foundation to complete the work. Martello cored through varying depths of reinforced concrete (up to 10m) and installed 12no. 600mm diameter piles to 30m deep. After pile positions were cored, Franki installed 148no. 300mm diameter SFA piles to 25m.

On the site, there was a restricted working platform with voids underneath it that required the use of a lightweight rig (MP4001). The piles were considered impossible to install by other piling contractors due to the site restrictions and obstructions.