Loughor Site Investigation

Case Study Overview

Red7Marine (R7M) supplied the 18x18m modular jack up platform, Haven Seajack 1, to provide a stable working platform to conduct site investigations works from at the Loughor Viaduct in South Wales. The barge was manoeuvred on site by R7M’s road transportable workboat the Taska 1. The site investigation works are to be utilised in the design of a replacement rail bridge at the location in 2012.

At a glance

  • Location: South Wales
  • Date: June to July 2011
  • Programme Duration: 2 months
  • Project Number: 2406
  • Value: £150,000
  • Client: Network Rail
  • Principal Contractor: ESG (Soil Mechanics)

The Solution

This location provided a series of challenges including restrictive air draught, close proximity to structures, strong currents, large tidal range and very varied soil strata.

Having been approached by our client, R7M performed a site visit where these restrictive factors were identified, the most pressing of which was the requirement to pass under low power cables. After surveying the cables the maximum allowable leg length that could safely transit the cables were identified.

This however then restricted the leg available to perform the required tasks on site. Therefore R7M identified suitable tidal windows to accommodate for the varied soil strata, which provided estimated penetrations of over 7m, and still utilise the restrictive leg length to ensure that the barge remained operating safely.

In addition to the air draught and penetration restrictions, the area also exhibited strong tidal flows and large tides, due to its close proximity to the River Severn. This meant that relocation of the barge was a time critical operation and R7M’s Taska 1 workboat proved to be the perfect vessel. Due to draught restrictions on the approach to site and its general location it meant that there were limited vessels available to assist in relocating the barge from borehole to borehole. The Taska 1 had a shallow enough draught to work in the area and was able to strap onto the barge to accurately relocate it within 1.5m of the existing structure.

The soils information obtained from this site investigation, which was only possible through the use of a jack up platform, will now be utilised in the design of the foundations for the replacement rail bridge.

Loughor Site

Loughor Site




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