RSK firms work hand in hand on A66 digs

10/05/2023
Chris Ames

Structural Soils is undertaking what it says is the UK’s largest ground investigation project to date as part of one of National Highways’ flagship schemes.

The firm's contract on the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project started in early March and is programmed to last 22 weeks.

Structural Soils, which is part of the RSK Group and describes itself as a leading provider of integrated geotechnical and geoenvironmental site-investigations services, said it will be drawing on the skills of 14 other companies from the group.

Managing director Stephen Mackereth said: ‘I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the A66 site recently and I was able to gain an appreciation of the magnitude of the job we are doing, which is really quite something, even by the standards we have previously set ourselves.

‘We are Principal Contractor for a project that entails something in the order of 1,300 exploratory holes, many now requiring the services of both cable percussion and rotary rigs to complete them. We have 17 drilling crews and four trial pitting crews on site and some 4km of drilling is required.

‘We have put more than 200 people through the National Highways online induction process to enable them to work on the site and the site team is supported by a back-room staff of administrators, reporting engineers and lab technicians.

‘It is safe to say this is our biggest challenge to date by quite some way and we are working hand in hand with 14 RSK businesses to deliver this.’

The 1.5bn A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project, which is currently the subject of a development consent application, aims to improve the road between the M6 at Penrith and A1(M) at Scotch Corner, upgrading single carriageway sections to dual carriageway standard and making improvements to junctions along the route.

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