Machines made at JCB’s Staffordshire plants have been deployed on one of the UK’s most prestigious civil engineering projects – a scheme designed to help more traffic travel underground on Tyneside.
Following the construction of the original Tyne Tunnel, which was opened in 1967 and which is used by up to 38,000 vehicles each day, a second vehicle tunnel is due for completion in 2010 and will run between Howdon, North Tyneside and Jarrow, South Tyneside.
Now leading North East contractor, Holystone Ltd, has bought two purpose-built JCB tracked excavator models manufactured by Uttoxeter-based JCB Heavy Products to help dig the tunnel.
It has purchased a 46-tonne JCB JS460 tracked excavator with a telescopic dipper and a 24-tonne JCB JZ235, which are helping move 600m of earth per day.
The JZ235 machine excavates the earth in the tunnel and it is then collected by the JS460, which is positioned above, at ground level. The JS460 uses its telescopic dipper to reach vertically down to depths of up to 20m and gather the excavated material in its bucket and then raises and empties it into dump trucks to be taken away from the site.
Wallsend-based Holystone Ltd has been awarded the earthmoving contract by the project’s main construction firm, Bouygues UK.
Holystone Ltd’s managing director Kieron Geoghegan said: “Without these two tailor-made products, we could simply not meet the main contractor’s timelines for the project. Given the depth and space constraints of the working area the only alternative would be to lower skips into the open cut area using a crane. Working in tandem, the two JCB’s are managing to remove an impressive 600m³ of earth per day.
“We have had several JS460 models before in harsh quarrying and waste management environments so we are aware of the machine’s excellent capabilities. The JZ235 is proving an excellent addition and our operators are raving about its performance.”
Part of the Holystone Group – which also boasts plant hire, waste and recycling and demolition divisions – Holystone Ltd specialises in a range of services including drainage, road building, wet well construction, shaft sinking and tunnelling, pumping station construction, concrete structure construction and hard landscaping for leading civil engineering companies and local authorities.