Project outline 

Murphy was contracted by BAM to provide piling which would support development of the town pier. The development project will improve longevity of the existing pier structure as well as providing new access and facilities. The aim of the project is to aid existing businesses and generate more commercial activity for Bantry Harbour. There will be improved berthage available for larger marine vessels, which it is hoped will lead to an upturn in marine leisure in and around Bantry Harbour. 

Key challenges 

Working near water meant it was imperative the team was briefed on safety near the water, on foot and when operating plant. It was also critical to inform all on site of the environmental concerns regarding potential contamination. An Environmental Aspects and Impacts register was put in place. This included a procedure to ensure pile spoil was appropriately controlled, managed and an emergency response plan was in place for other potential risks. 

Murphy maintained industry leading safety standards throughout the project; conducting weekly toolbox talks, displaying safety alerts and working with causeway life jackets at all times. Murphy also fully adopted and implemented BAM requirements. 

The stone working platform moved slightly each day with the tide. With constant temporary works review and management this was not a major safety concern, but it was an issue when trying to install piles accurately in a straight line. To make sure the line of the piles were within the tight tolerances set, Murphy suggested setting up a pipe laser on solid ground each morning. The casing was then checked during installation using an offset marker. 

Project delivery and innovations 

The team constructed a secant pile wall infilled with gravel (not concrete as would usually be the case) through a causeway to remove a trench of rock. This allowed a sheet pile wall to be installed to the required depth, where it would not have been possible to install the sheet piles ordinarily due to the rock. The project required 173 1200mm diameter bores to a depth of 10m with 4m deep sockets in rock in excess of 50MPa. 

Murphy had used this technique on a previous BAM project and the client was delighted once again to proceed with this efficient means of construction. 

For the highly skilled team on site this was a straight forward programme given their combined experience and knowledge. They were aided by safe systems of works and high quality up to date plant and equipment that allowed them to carry out the project without any incident or issue. 

The successful design as well as the challenging site logistics involved close collaboration with the client and designers. The Murphy approach to collaboration follows a pattern of: scope and specification clarification; solution proposition; solution agreement; implementation; and testing. This helped all parties and staff create strong working relationships on site making this a successful but also enjoyable project to work on. 

BAM contractors gave Murphy a perfect score on their client feedback form for all aspects of the project. 

Key facts 
  • Design & Build Project 
  • Provided 173 piles for a secant pile gravel wall 
  • 1200mm diameter piles 
  • Rock-sockets 4m long 
  • Piles to depths of 10m 
  • Good collaboration throughout project with regular catch-ups with the client leading to an effective partnership in delivery 
  • Experienced project management team 
  • Provided quality control on site 
  • No accidents or incidents 
  • Brought design innovation to the project 
  • Delivered on time and in budget 

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Building from the ground up

The Ground Engineering team at Murphy offers in-house pile design, value engineering and bespoke technical solutions throughout the UK and Ireland. We have a proven track record of successfully delivering both minor and major works across a range of sectors.

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