Groundforce tackles its biggest European project to date

29 Oct

Groundforce is once again playing an essential supporting role in a major Scandinavian infrastructure project, this time in Gothenburg, Sweden.

No fewer than 30 of Groundforce’s MP750 modular hydraulic props will be used to support excavations up to 49 m wide on the multi-billion-Kronor West link railway project for Trafikverket, the Swedish transport administration.

The West link is the name given to the latest expansion of the West Swedish railway system, and the section on which Groundforce’s equipment is being used is Centralstationen – one of three new underground stations in Gothenburg.

Here, main contractor NCC is dropping the existing Central Station by around 10m to match up with the new railway being constructed underground. Work on this phase of the project started last year and Groundforce began supplying its equipment in late January 2020.

The Groundforce equipment is expected to remain on site for the next four years.

Groundforce has enjoyed considerable success in the Scandinavian region over recent years, with notable contributions to major building and civil engineering projects such as the massive “Barcode” development in central Oslo and the Valand Quarter 6 project in Kungsbacka, a few kilometres south of Gothenburg.

But this project – Centralstationen Gothenburg West – is the company’s largest project in Europe to date, and its first with NCC. 

The project also employs Groundforce’s largest and most powerful modular hydraulic props, the MP750 Type 47.5, ordered specially for this project. The MP750, as the name indicates, is designed to resist working loads of up to 750 tonnes. Combined with Groundforce’s 1.22m-diameter Super Tube extensions (its largest), the MP750 strut can be installed over clear spans up to 50m without any additional support and with no risk of buckling.

NCC is using the massive MP750s to support sections of slab wall. The size and capacity of the props means that only one level of support is required.

Groundforce’s load monitoring system is also being deployed to provide continuous real-time data on prop loadings. This system records loadings at regular intervals and can be set up to send alerts via email or SMS message if any readings exceed pre-set limits.

Groundforce delivered the first seven MP750 props at the beginning of the year and Groundforce specialists remained on site to train NCC personnel in the deployment and demounting of the props. Two further consignment of nine and fourteen props have now also been delivered and installed.

The props will remain on site during the entire construction of the cut-and-cover tunnel, with NCC’ s leap-frogging the props in sequence as work progresses.

Mikael Kjellin, NCC’s section manager (shaft & foundation) on the project explains: “When we put in the props, they remain until both floors, walls and ceilings are cast and the tunnel can support itself. Then we take them down and re-assemble them for the next stage – it’s so flexible.”

“Yes, we’ve seen Groundforce props used elsewhere in Sweden, but never so many or so big. It’s great to be part of something so big and unique that hasn’t been done before; I’m really proud to be a part of it.”