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Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering nears completion on piling for Reading Viaduct

23 October 2013  •  Author: Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering, (BBGE) is nearing completion of the piling phase for the new Reading viaduct, part of Network Rail’s Reading station area redevelopment. The new £40 million viaduct, being constructed by Balfour Beatty, will ease congestion by taking fast mainline trains over freight and relief lines.

The £3.8 million foundations package commenced in May and includes the installation of 980 continuous flight auger piles to support the viaduct structure. The ground improvement phase to install 1685 vibro concrete columns, to support the ramps at the Eastern and Western ends, also being carried out by BBGE, will commence in November.

Working alongside the live railway, safety and logistics have been key to planning the project. One of the most critical stages was the installation of piles neighbouring the trackline on the main London to Swansea main line and Reading commuter routes. These created a pinch point which required careful planning to accommodate rigs and handling cranes in such a restricted area.

Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering Project Manager, Rob Cannon, said: “Careful planning was essential to this project, and our use of lean visual management has enabled us to closely monitor and control activities as well as provide instant updates to Network Rail.”

Jim Weeden, Network Rail, Reading Station and Area Redevelopment Acting Project Director, said: “Over 20,000 linear metres of piling has been completed by the Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering piling crews. The fact that all of it has been successfully completed within 15 metres of the operational railway, without any impact on train operations or driver concerns is a major contribution to the satisfaction of passengers on this key route.”

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