Here is the first in a series of monthly blogs on the continued development of the new North Stand here at Boundary Park.
The blog will appear during the first week of every month on your official website and will be accompanied by up to date photos of the build. It is written by Paul Whitehead of Holroy Developments who are the appointed contractors. This month Paul, a lifelong Latics fan, tells us the story so far...
The North Stand Blog: Part 1.
A substantial amount of work has taken place over the last few months to enable the building of the new North Stand. The remains of the old paddock terracing and floor slabs and foundations of the old stand have all been removed and crushed for re-use in the new development and further site investigations took place to enable final designs of the foundations to take place.
As with all building you have to go down before you can go up and it can appear that very little is going on. That is not the case though and over the last 3 months a lot of work has taken place.
Firstly, in October vibro piling was carried out to improve the stability of the top ground surface. This involved drilling 329 holes to depths of between 3 and 4 metres and diameters of 500-600mm and filling with clean stone. This process strengthens the ground and allows more traditional type foundations and floor slabs to be installed.
During November, Auger piling took place. This is a process of deep drilled concrete and steel piles, where re-inforced concrete columns are installed for the main foundations to sit on. In total 259, 300mm wide, piles have been installed. 63 to depths of 13 metres and 196 to depths of 19 metres, using around 350 cubic metres of concrete.
Once the piling was completed, work on the main foundations was able to start. Due to the Boundary park pitch sloping 1 metre from the Verlin Stand (Rochdale Road End) to the Zen Office Stand (Chaddy End), a sloping apron at the front of the spectator seating is required whilst the terracing for the new stand and the floor of the main building behind will all be at one level. This means that there has been substantial excavation of earth in the area adjacent to the pitch. Over the course of the last 3 weeks and the next 5-6 weeks, the main ground beams are being installed. This involves excavating the areas on top of the piles and installing the re-inforced concrete beams. Spectators at the games will have seen green and white boxes which is the formwork for the beams and pile caps. The pile caps are enclosed in the green boxes and the main beams in the white ones. Once the pile heads and beam trenches are excavated, the green and white cages are lowered into place and tied together before being filled with concrete. In total there is around 30 tonnes of steel re-inforcement and 190 cubic metres of concrete going into the foundations.
Once complete that is when the more interesting works commence and the steel frame will start to be erected. The steel frame is being produced locally is Rossendale. More about that in the next blog.