Piled wall will resolve major King's Dyke crossing obstacle

Piling at King's Dyke

Piling at King's Dyke - Credit: CCC

Piling work has begun at Star Pit, Whittlesey, to conquer one of the major obstacles to delivering the King’s Dyke crossing. 

The piling work started in September and is expected to last until early November. 

The pit is near the edge of the project and creating a strong enough support to withstand the new crossing Jones Bros contractors need to introduce extra stability. 

They designed a new, highly engineered, improved solution than originally planned to tackle Star Pit by installing a piled wall.  

The piles will be bored to a depth of 23 metres below ground level, before then putting in a steel reinforcement cage which is filled with concrete. 

This new design will involve piling into the existing ground and will reinforce the Star Pit side walls and allow the road’s embankment to be completed.  

Cambridgeshire County Council says the method is more robust and will increase the longevity of the asset which they will maintain. 

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Issues arose because of the decision in the early 1990s to allow Star Pit to be excavated until 2042 for clay. 

Cllr Peter McDonald, chair of the highways and transport committee said: “We have been working with Jones Bros ever since they came on-board to design and implement this part of the scheme. 

“Over the past few weeks, the focus has been on the ground conditions, which are worse than our tests initially found so we’re responding to this with a new and better solution around Star Pit. 

“This specialist piling work is well underway and may be visible to the public so we wanted to explain.  

“I’m pleased to say this won’t have any impact on the programme and we’re on track to open to traffic by the end of 2022.” 

Rhydian Hafal, construction manager for Jones Bros,  said: “By carrying out piling at the top of Star Pit, it means we can add extra reinforcement and reduce the load on the existing ground. 

“The piling requires the material that is currently in the pit to act as a support for the pit walls and for the piles themselves, so this task can only be accomplished now, following the filling of the corner of the pit.”