Tunnelling has completed on London’s 25km long, 7.2m diameter Thames Tideway Tunnel and to commemorate this engineering feat, a live performance has taken place 70m underground in the depth of the tunnel itself.
The performance, from London-based composer and musician Rob Lewis, was streamed and is available on Tideway’s YouTube channel and fuses multi-instrumental music with the sounds of the sewer construction, capturing the unique acoustic properties of the space.
“Completion of tunnelling for London’s new super sewer is testament to the hard work and contributions of thousands of people and organisations, over many years – and it brings us closer to the ultimate goal of a cleaner River Thames. This performance celebrates a significant milestone in our efforts to create a more sustainable London for our growing population and we are pleased to commemorate the end of tunnelling in such a unique way,” says Sir Neville Simms, Chair of Tideway.
“It is wonderful to see this project reaching this important milestone; it’s a phenomenal feat of British engineering and will deliver huge environmental benefits for the River Thames. The Tunnel will prevent millions of tonnes of sewage overflowing into the river, helping to improve water quality and allowing marine life to thrive further. Our partnership with Tideway has been an extraordinary success and I want to thank all those involved for their hard work on this incredible project, and I look forward to seeing its completion,” added Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow.
Work on the super sewer, which runs from Acton in west London to Stratford in east London, started in 2016.
The Tunnel was divided into three sections – the 13km long Central, the East at 5.5km long, and the 7km west– with each section being constructed by a different joint venture of contractors.
The West section is being built by the Joint venture of BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty Group, the East section by the Joint venture of Costain, Vinci Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche, and the Central section by the Ferrovial and Laing O’Rourke JV.
Sustainability lies at the core of Tideway’s values and mission with their investment in local communities, education, training and the supply chain ensuring that the legacy of the Tideway project will be profound and long-lasting not only for London, but for the UK as a whole.
More than 90% of the excavated spoil removed to create the tunnels was removed from site by barge, keeping lorries off the road and providing substantial environmental benefits when compared to the HGV equivalent.
The £4.2bn Tideway project is due to be complete in 2025, following secondary lining, connection and testing works. To date, the Tideway project has seen the creation of more than 4,000 sustainable jobs and more than 100 apprenticeships across the UK.