Junctions 10-12 of the M62 - the strategic route for traffic moving cross-country from the north-west to Yorkshire and Humberside - are at either end of a stretch of motorway carrying high volumes of traffic between Liverpool and Manchester. Junction 10 is the Croft Interchange where the M62 meets the M6, while Junction 12 is the Winton Interchange between the M62, M60 and M602. Smart motorway work is underway, with the goal of improving the driver journey but, while this is undertaken, frustrations can occur.
To help ease such frustrations, Sheet Piling has devised a solution that speeds up the infrastructure widening works required for smart motorway upgrade work, to both reduce motorists' angst and cut costs significantly.
The M62 is just one of five major highways to date on which Sheet Piling has deployed its unique TM 12/15 LR sheet piling rig - a long-reach sheet piling rig that makes light work of the sheet pile projects with which traditional telescopic leader rigs struggle.
There has been an increased use of sheet piles as an earthwork-widening solution on highways, where work is typically undertaken in a restricted working area and extensive enabling work is normally required so that standard telescopic leader rigs can carry out sheet pile projects.
With the TM 12/15 LR rig, a much longer arm extends the reach to 8.1m - around three metres longer than any other rig - making enabling works unnecessary, as the rig can stand on the existing structure.
There is no compromise in power when it comes to driving in the sheet piles, as all of the core benefits of a telescopic leader rig are still available. Using the TM 12/15 LR rig removes much of the time and cost associated with highway widening and also reduces the disruption to journeys.
If the highway-widening work is taking place on a cutting, the use of the TM 12/15 LR can remove the need to clear vegetation. It also avoids the team having to carry out extensive earthwork excavation and backfill and there are no health and safety concerns with regard to stability when operating on a slope.
On an embankment, using the TM 12/15 LR rig means not having to cause significant traffic disruption, while building a working platform. It also avoids the team having to handle an earthworks' backfill and can help steer the project clear of any third-party land issues, or arguments over site boundaries.
Andrew Cotton, Sheet Piling's MD, said: "We have only had this rig since last October, but have already seen it deployed by some major infrastructure widening projects. Once a Tier-1 contractor has seen our sheet pile rig, they can perceive the huge benefits that it brings for themselves. Its performance speaks for itself and its positive impact on the project's budget is undeniable. We are proud to have come up with this innovative solution within the sheet piling sector."
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