London Thames Tideway Tunnel milestone: The first machine to start digging the super sewer has arrived in the capital

 
Rebecca Smith
The first of six tunnel boring machines has arrived in the capital
The first of six tunnel boring machines has arrived in the capital (Source: Tideway )

Tideway, the organisation building London's new super sewer, announced today that the first of six tunnel boring machines (TBM) has arrived in the capital for the £4.2bn project.

When fully assembled the boring machine that will weigh a total of 1,350 tonnes, and today made its way through central London along the river Thames ahead of tunnelling getting underway next year.

The machine has been undergoing testing in Germany, and made the 850km journey back to the capital by barge. To make the journey back, it had to be dismantled, and over the next few months will be reassembled at Tideway's site in west London.

Read more: Work has begun on London's super sewer

It will be 147m long, which is the length of 12 and a half double decker buses.


(Source: Tideway)

The infrastructure project aims to tackle sewage pollution in the river Thames, and there will be six machines employed to build the 25km tunnel.

Andy Mitchell, Tideway’s chief executive, said: “The arrival of our first TBM marks a major milestone for the construction of London’s super sewer and it also demonstrates our commitment to use the river to transport materials and reduce the number of vehicles on London’s roads.

He added that the ambition for the project was to "reconnect London with the river Thames", and demonstrate the "huge potential of our city's greatest natural asset".

Construction of the project has been divided into three sections, east, west and central, with each being built by a different joint venture. The west section is being developed by BMB, a joint venture of BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty.

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