When SPEN needed to install a 180mm duct under tramlines in Birkenhead, they were told by other drilling companies that it just wasn’t possible. With a number of existing utilities in the way and Wirral Council ruling out trenching or excavations, it looked like the only option was to abandon the plan altogether.

Luckily, this is exactly the sort of project where Mole Utilities come into our own. With our background in civil engineering, 30 years of experience and specialist equipment, we identified a possible route and completed the work with minimal disruption. Next time hopefully SPEN will come to us first!

With the drilling route at a 70m distance, the challenges at the site included a busy road junction which couldn’t be closed to traffic and existing pipes and cables at various depths. To install a 180mm duct we scanned the site to carefully plan an exact route and drilled down to a depth of 4m to be absolutely certain not to intersect gas and water pipes. There was no room for error but with scans of the ground completed and continual tracking our team were confident.

Once the existing services had been crossed following accurate correspondence between the two Mole team members on site we began to bring the drill up into the receiving area. The team accurately manoeuvred the drill head so it would punch out of the ground in a grassed area, meaning we could attach the reamer without having to enter a pit. With the reamer being over 40kg in weight this was the safest way to attach it. We also had to ensure we passed close to existing cables in the footpath so that the SPEN contractors could excavate on our duct to insert the new cable and then able to joint to the 11KV that we drilled close to.

With both Wirral Council and SPEN on site, the pressure was on but we completed the installation and returned the entry and exit points to normal.

Mole Utilities can help with your “impossible” installation too – call us today!