Overcoming a challenging location within a tight schedule
We were contacted by the specialist bridge design and build contractor, Beaver Bridges, to deliver a bespoke screw pile foundation solution for a complex project in the heart of Birmingham that would replace an existing bridge and facilitate the construction of a new innovative, Waste-to-Energy processing plant.
The site of the new bridge crossed the listed Birmingham Canal to replace an old structure which connected two industrial estates in West Bromwich. The 39m roadway and footway's modular panel structure allows the bridge to accommodate heavier loads safely.
The project location added challenges to the project due to the nature of the site, with access to the South side of the project effectively being an island accessed only via the existing bridge and pedestrian bridges further along the canal. The stability of the banks posed a further challenge, as the foundations for the new bridge were to be very close to the canal.
Working within a tight window of a canal closure, we proposed a screw pile foundation solution that would ensure the project stayed within the programme of work, meaning that the closure of the towpath running underneath was minimal and access to the new bridge would be achieved as soon as possible.
Beaver Bridges were responsible for the bridge's design, manufacture, and installation.
Achieving 16m depths and 200kN per RADIX Screw Pile
Prior to any construction of the bridge beginning, the team carried out a point load test to verify the integrity of the ground and the depth required to ensure strong and stable foundations were installed.
From our site survey and ground tests, it was ascertained that 22 RADIX Extendable 89mm Screw Piles, with four helical flight extensions, would need to be installed to a depth of 16m on either side of the river, as ground conditions were only considered stable from a depth of 12m and beyond.
At this depth, it was shown on testing that 200kN was achieved per screw pile.
A steel grillage was installed on top of the screw piles and mass-filled with concrete to provide the support necessary for the new steel bridge.
Once installation began, the whole project from the north bank to the south was installed in only ten days, and the bridge itself was safely lifted into position immediately following the installation of our robust screw pile foundation solution.