Considerations For Motoring And Highway Geotechnical Drilling Projects

by | Sep 18, 2020

We’re a nation propped up on logistics and motoring. On the smooth and seamless transport of people, goods and services between one location and another. We utilise trains, planes and ships, but there’s no form of transport with such a widespread and versatile set of uses as motoring. In fact, if you look at the number of cars that travel per mile of motorway daily, then you’re met with a huge figure – 81.7 thousand vehicles for each mile of motorway per day. Geotechnical drilling plays a massive part to play with the upkeep of motoring and highway services.

It’s so important to keep these national lifelines in good working order. Unfortunately no matter how well maintained roads are, the sheer amount of use they undergo means that wear and tear occurs. In these cases, geotechnical drilling companies such as Borehole Solutions are required to conduct investigative work. Helping to ascertain what kind of remedial work must be carried out to get the road back in good shape again. In this blog post, we’ll be looking at the type of issues that occur, and what can be done about them.

Type Of Work Required In Motoring Geotechnical Drilling


Landslips & Other Geological Faults

Failures and cracks often occur in roads where there’s been a landslip in the underlying rock and soil. Though these cracks are barely visible, if left they only ever increase in scale. It’s important, that they’re tackled as soon as possible. Softer geological formations such as sandstones are more prone to this kind of slip. By retrieving core samples of the strata beneath the road, geotechnical companies can accurately determine the underlying geology and design an appropriate response.

Slope Stabilisation

Where roads are built on slopes, hillsides or any other uneven surface, they are unstable. Regardless if it’s the building of a new road, or the maintenance of existing infrastructure, it’s vital that a comprehensive geotechnical investigation be carried out. This way, the contractor can determine whether going ahead with road development is feasible. Or in the case of existing roads, what kind of monitoring and maintenance work is required, moving forward.

In order to carry out analyses of the ground, various methods are used. Restricted access and modular rigs are often particularly useful, because of their ability to climb slopes and drill in hard to reach areas. We use our Eijkelkamp Compact CPT rig, in order to assess the slope stability.

Diverting Buried Services (Eg. High Pressure Gas Pipeline)

Wherever alterations are being made to road networks, consideration must be paid to the services beneath the ground. The last thing you want as a contractor is to be midway through adding another lane to a carriageway, when you stumble across a major National Grid pipeline. In the world of geotechnical drilling, we don’t leave things to chance. That’s why, we’d drill exploratory holes to locate, identify or further examine the existing underground service infrastructure.

Time Is Of The Essence When Geotechnical Drilling 

Now, obviously, to carry out work on a road requires that the road be closed for the duration of the job. This isn’t too much of an issue if you’re dealing with a small rural B-road. However, when you’re dealing with a lane closure for a major city’s arterial motorway, then clearly there’s a need to get the job done as quickly as possible. This will help to mitigate the congestion and traffic that tends to come with such a closure. The key for geotechnical companies is to carry out the work as efficiently as possible, whilst still maintaining the highest levels of safety and accuracy.

Remedial Options

Once a geotechnical investigation has been carried out what are the available remedial options? When it comes to roads and highways, the number of remediation options are long. For landslides, a re-profiling may take place to stabilise the slope. In addition to this, further drainage may be added. As well as physical defences to protect against any further wear or erosion. Generally speaking, where remedial measures are required, there’s likely been instability within the ground. So focusing on realignment measures and stabilisation techniques is the best way in which to shore roads up from similar problems occurring again in the future.

So, if you’d like to find out more about our work servicing the nation’s roads and highway infrastructure, then get in touch with our geotechnical drilling company! Contact Borehole Solutions today on 01733 200 501. Why not head over to our instagram page to see some of the latest work from the Borehole Solutions team?