Case Study: M1

Posted on January 18, 2018
Archive : January 2018
Category : Case Studies

This article features in the new edition of Geotopics, which looks back on our work throughout 2017. Click here to read the magazine, which also includes the results of our annual Health and Safety survey. 

Early in 2017, Geotechnics investigated a stretch of the M1 between Junctions 13 and 16 as a prelude to the expansion of the smart motorways. Our site teams, led by Ian Boyle, successfully managed a wide range of logistical challenges: obtaining essential data on ground conditions whilst keeping traffic moving. Using up to 4 site teams throughout a 6 month period of night shifts, we always made sure the motorway was ready to be re-opened on time the next morning. 

Working on one of the UK’s busiest roads and interfacing with multiple other contractors - each with their own unique set of traffic management requirements - there was a whole host of challenges for our team to manage. Weekly meetings were held with the Client (Costain/Galliford Try JV), site agents and subcontractor representatives to ensure that the traffic management programme for the project ran smoothly. With up to 4km of lane closures in any one section, this was a central part of the logistical challenge for the project. 

In guaranteeing the health and safety of staff and the general public on a live motorway, Geotechnics is proud that there were no health and safety incidents throughout our six months on site. Highways England and CGT completed a highly favourable health and safety audit, which praised our innovative approach in trialling new safety equipment on the project. There were also several internal senior management audits of the site, including one by our Managing Director John Booth. 

Boreholes were drilled in the hard shoulder, with no mess or spoil being left during the lane’s hours of operation. At the end of every night, the boreholes were reinstated and all plant was moved off the motorway in time for all lanes to be re-opened the next morning. In total, over 120 boreholes were completed to depths of up to 30m. The drilling techniques included rotary coring, continuous sampling with rotary follow on, window sampling and cable percussion. Our team provided full time project management day and night to ensure rapid transfer of geotechnical data to the client. 

For more information about our ground investigation work across the country, please contact our expert teams around the UK.