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Kilkern Civil Engineering's completed works at Soot Hill, Northwich, Cheshire where the road and retaining wall have been reinstated.

Early road project completion relieves Cheshire motorists’ misery

19th Jan 2024

Kilkern has successfully delivered a key road project in Northwich, Cheshire, easing travel headaches for residents and road users.

A landslide at Soot Hill in December 2021caused the collapse of a retaining wall dating back to the 1800s. The carriageway was damaged as well as properties at an adjacent industrial estate and it was necessary to close the road.

The Kilkern civil engineering and highways team was brought in alongside main contractor Balfour Beatty plc to repair and reinstate the landslide-damaged road.

Following stabilisation works, Kilkern worked with specialist SPI Piling to sink 21 piles at the site to make the installation of a new King Post retaining wall possible.

In quite difficult ground conditions, CFA (Continuous Flight Auger) was used to excavate each borehole to a depth of up to 9 metres before they were filled with a concrete base and had steel H-beams installed.

Kilkern Civil Engineering's works at Soot Hill, Northwich, Cheshire.

Workers from civil engineering specialist Kilkern carry out remediation work, installing a section of a new king post-piled retaining wall at Soot Hill, Northwhich, Cheshire.

Craning in the pre-cast concrete scetions.

Workers from civil engineering specialist Kilkern carry out remediation work, installing a section of a new king post-piled retaining wall at Soot Hill, Northwhich, Cheshire. 10/08/23

Installing the pre-cast concrete sections 1

Workers from civil engineering specialist Kilkern carry out remediation work, installing a section of a new king post-piled retaining wall at Soot Hill, Northwhich, Cheshire. 10/08/23

Installing the pre-cast concrete sections 2

Workers from civil engineering specialist Kilkern carry out remediation work, installing a section of a new king post-piled retaining wall at Soot Hill, Northwhich, Cheshire. 10/08/23

Checking the level

With comparatively little room for manoeuvre on the tight site, the Kilkern team was also able to overcome successfully the challenge of installing the pre-cast concrete units that were key to ensuring the structural integrity of the retaining wall and the reinstated road.

In addition to the construction of the retaining wall, Kilkern’s £1.2m programme included the provision of a new surface water drainage system and the installation of kerbing and footpaths.

Young local re-opens the road

A young local resident reopens the road at Kilkern Civil Engineering's completed works at Soot Hill, Northwich, Cheshire.

A young local resident reopens the road at Kilkern Civil Engineering’s completed works at Soot Hill, Northwich, Cheshire.

A local resident’s daughter cut the ribbon to reopen the road formally.

Craig Winter, Kilkern Operations Manager, explained that while the Soot Hill project had presented several challenges, all the parties involved had pulled together to deliver an excellent result.

“From the outset, this has been a complex project and we have had to demonstrate engineering innovation and agility throughout,” he said. “ We are pleased with the results and to see the road re-opening ahead of schedule.

“Soot Hill is an important throughway and the project has generated a lot of interest from residents and motorists alike. The project’s completion removes a significant bottleneck.”

Northwich town councillor Lee Siddall said: “This marks the end of a challenging period for many residents and I’m so glad to see the issue resolved.”

An aerial view of Kilkern Civil Engineering's completed works at Soot Hill, Northwich, Cheshire.

An aerial view of Kilkern Civil Engineering’s completed works at Soot Hill, Northwich, Cheshire.

Main contractor Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd appointed Kilkern on behalf of the client Cheshire West and Chester Council & Chester Borough Council through the SCAPE framework.

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