One of two tunnel boring machines (TBM) has completed the first section of the new London super sewer project between Wandsworth to Fulham, with the project itself having been appointed to a joint venture of Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall, and BAM Nuttall.
The TBM is currently digging a Frogmore Connection Tunnel between the two London Boroughs as part of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project which seeks to reduce the volume of sewage and pollution that is finding its way into the River Thames.
The Frogmore Connection Tunnel will consist of a 1.1km drainpipe that will carry sewage overflows from King George’s Park to the main 25km super sewer at Fulham, ready to be transported to a waste management facility instead of allowed to free flow into the Thames.
The TBM will now be extracted from the 500m tunnel it has excavated between Dormay Street and King George’s Park at the Wandsworth end of the operation and will be transported back to Dormay Street to carry out the remaining 600m of tunnelling to Fulham.
The Project Director for the joint venture, Sally Cox stated: “This breakthrough, the first on the Tideway project, marks another key step toward a cleaner, healthier River Thames.
“Despite being the smallest TBM on the Tideway project, Charlotte is creating vital infrastructure that will benefit Londoners and their river for many years to come.
“Our tunnelling team has done a fantastic job getting this machine to King George’s Park and will now focus on completing the northern section of the Frogmore Connection Tunnel.”
The TBM is named after the famous suffragette Charlotte Despard, measuring at 3m wide and 70m long, with the Frogmore Connection Tunnel situated at a depth of 30m below the surface.
The Thames Tideway project currently consists of 8km of tunnels and, once completed in 2024, will prevent tens of millions of tonnes of sewage from flowing into the river each year.
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