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Tue July 16 2024

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Bauer faces Midland Metro piling challenge

28 Jul 23 Bauer Technologies has been awarded a piling contract for the delta junction structure of the Midland Metro Alliance (MMA) Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro Extension scheme.

Bauer Technologies will install deep rock socketed rotary bored piles to support the abutment of the access road flyover bridge over the Wednesbury Depot access road near Potters Lane in Sandwell.

The work will involve installing one-metre-diameter bearing piles through Glacial Till and the Pennine Middle Coal Measures Formation, down more than 50 metres. The piles will be drilled to a designed toe level through mudstones, siltstones, bands of strong sandstone and worked coal seams. Additionally, the piles will be cased with approximately 37 metres of 1180mm casing, to ensure the upper worked levels are supported while the lower part of the rock socket is drilled.

The piling job, like the project itself, is complex, Bauer said. Work has to be done in a space-restricted area, while preserving access to both the ramp structure currently under construction and the adjacent Metro Depot, throughout the programme. Use of 3D models in the planning will help ensure that working arrangements and unforeseen precautions are factored into site operations.

Bauer Technologies managing director Michael Jones said: “The award of this contract follows a successful programme of work on other elements of this project, and it is great to have secured further foundation works.

“Notably, the project will be completed by one of the largest piling rigs in UK – a BG45 Premium Line Bauer rig, complete with an extended mast and a 64-metre Kelly bar. Piling works will be serviced by a 100-tonne telescopic crane, working under Network Rail Working restrictions.”

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When the first phase of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension opens in late 2024, an additional nine stops will be added to the West Midlands Metro network, linking Dudley town centre to both Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

It is being designed and built by the Midland Metro Alliance on behalf of Transport for West Midlands.

The Midland Metro Alliance consists of the West Midlands Combined Authority, which owns West Midlands Metro, with a consortium of design firms – Egis, Tony Gee and Pell Frischmann ­– and a contracting team led by Colas Rail with Barhale, Bouygues UK and Auctus Management Group.

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