Over the space of a week they managed to complete a horizontal directional drilling project from Belfry Park to Greenaces. This covers a distance 190 metres and was installed at a depth of eight metres, under open spaces, a number of houses and St. Alphonsus Road to emerge close to the new shopping centre which is currently under construction.It was the first time that suchA remarkable feat of engineering was completed this week by a local firm, Meehan Drilling Ltd. from Blackrock.
Over the space of a week they managed to complete a horizontal directional drilling project from Belfry Park to Greenaces. This covers a distance 190 metres and was installed at a depth of eight metres, under open spaces, a number of houses and St. Alphonsus Road to emerge close to the new shopping centre which is currently under construction.
It was the first time that such a bore hole was completed for this length and at such a depth.
The work was undertaken for the developers of the new shopping centre, McAvoy Construction / McLoughlin and Harvey.
Using a 35 tonne Horizontal Directional Drilling Rig which is the biggest in the Republic, Meehan Drilling started the work on Tuesday November 4th.
The pilot bore was started in Belfry with a complex drill path chosen to avoid existing services in the ground and accurate location of the drill head was paramount.
A computer on the nose of the drill head guided to operator to avoid any obstructions.
The pilot drill head was removed on Saturday 6th, and reaming commenced first enlarging the drill hole to 500mm, which was completed in four hours, the operators pumping over 1,200 litres of drilling fluid to stabilise the bore.
On Monday the 8th the bore hole was further enlarged to 650mm and on Tuesday 9th the task of welding the pipe to be pulled through the drill hole was started in Greenacres. The pipe was welded to the full length required 190 metres.
On Wednesday 10th the drill hole was completed to the final width of 800mm and on Thursday the delicate task of pulling the pipe through the drill hole commenced at 4.30 and was finished three hours later.
Niall Meehan the operator and site manager said afterwards “everything went smoothly and we are delighted that this the longest drill hole we ever completed was undertaken in our own Dundalk area”
The firm work all over Ireland and have already drilled long distances out under the Irish Sea to connect with wind generating machines.
The pipe between Greenaces and Belfry is needed to carry surface water from the Ramparts shopping centre into the blackwater.
Garry Myers was the Mud Engineer for the project, David Nolan, Machine assistant, Michael Ward, Steering engineer and Des Meehan and Tony Dunne were Supervisors.