Early days in 1993, clearing the site.
What should be apparent when visiting the site today, is that the tower is built on made up ground on a noise bund constructed alongside the motorway. This ground is no good for supporting a shed, let alone a water tower, and so the tower was founded on 60 concrete piles which go down through the made ground into the firm clay below.
Below you can see the tops of some of the piles sticking out of the ground.
The concrete piles.
These piles alone are no good for supporting a water tower, and so a pile cap was constructed on the piles. The pile cap consists of a very thick reinforced concrete slab and can seen below. This cap spreads the weight of the tower over all of the piles to ensure an even loading.
The foundations are complete.
At this stage the foundations are sticking out of the ground (above), as there is still a lot of making up to be done to the ground on the site. An indication of the final ground level can be gleaned from the picture below - where you can just see a ladder up to the door situated at final ground level.
The central supporting shaft takes shape.
A special gantry was made for constructing the shaft as shown above. This gantry included a working platform for the workforce, and the shuttering for containing the wet concrete. The gantry was fixed to the shaft at different construction levels and raised and lowered as required using the tower crane. Each level of construction is called a lift and the various lifts can been seen as horizontal bands on the shaft.
The shaft is reinforced with high tensile steel bars which are fixed in position before concreting. Only after all of the bars and shuttering are in place can the concreting begin. Concrete was delivered in ready-mix trucks and lifted into the shuttering by crane and skip, once in position it was thoroughly vibrated to remove air and to ensure a good quality dense concrete was formed.
Follow photo gallery link below for further views of this construction phase.