Bridge pile driving restarts


Waikato Expressway pile driving will restart from Thursday for the bridge to span State Highway 1 at Cherry Lane.

Six piles will be driven 35 to 40 metres into the ground at the western abutment to complete the piling of the East/West Link Bridge.

The work will take about three weeks to complete bringing increased noise and vibration for nearby residents. See a video of the work below.

Meanwhile ground improvement work will be taking place at the eastern abutment with the contractors working close to SH1/Cambridge Road drilling a series of concrete piles.

A birdseye view of the bridge piling site opposite Cherry Lane, Tamahere

Once piling is complete, the team will then begin installing the central pier columns and precast units that will support the bridge beams.

A total of 21 pile casings will be driven up to 40m deep, said NZTA contractors City Edge Alliance earlier in a statement.

One row of pile casings will support each end of the bridge, and two rows will support the central columns supporting the middle of the bridge.

Metal pile casings are driven into the ground using a ‘bottom driven’ technique. The casings are driven by a 10-tonne weight (or hammer) suspended from a crane. The hammer is lifted and dropped repeatedly inside the pile casing. The hammer falls on the foot of the pile casing to drive it into the ground. This ‘bottom driven’ technique causes less noise than ‘top driven’ piling.

Once each pile casing reaches its required depth, a steel reinforcing cage is dropped inside and the casing filled with concrete. This forms each finished bridge pile.

The East/West Link Bridge is expected to be completed in early 2018.

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