RSA Geotechnics were employed to undertake a geotechnical ground investigation for the proposed West Midlands Interchange (WMI). The scheme is a strategic rail freight interchange situated in south Staffordshire approximately 10 km to the north of Wolverhampton and adjacent to Junction 12 of the M6 motorway. The West Coast Mainline also runs through the site. The development comprises a rail freight terminal; approximately 7.9 million square feet of warehousing and office developments; and associated infrastructure including access roads; bridges over a canal and railway line, and community park areas (ref. www.westmidlandsinterchange.co.uk).
RSA Geotechnics carried out the ground investigation for the scheme in two stages as areas of the site became available. The site works included drilling of rotary, cable percussion and window sample boreholes; cone penetrometer tests (CPT); excavation of trial pits and BRE DG365 tests.
The geology across the area comprised a superficial cover of glacial drift deposits that comprised till, and sand and gravel (glaciofluvial deposits), with the Triassic age Wildmoor Sandstone Formation (part of the Sherwood Sandstone Group) below.
The site was of a rural nature much of which was cropped or included livestock. The site also included an operational sand and gravel quarry. The investigation was therefore planned in conjunction with landowners and tenants to avoid disruption, and also to accommodate ecological and other environmental requirements.
The investigation was carried out in conjunction with an Environmental Consultant who specified the details of groundwater and ground gas monitoring wells installed in many of the boreholes, and retrieved soil and groundwater samples for environmental purposes.