BMT Isis, a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, the international design, engineering and risk management consultancy, has announced the latest phase of its work with Thames Water, in helping to develop the overall tunnel drive strategy for the proposed Thames Tunnel.
BMT has recently undertaken site specific navigational risk assessments which included consultation with river users, as well as the relevant authorities such as the Port of London Authority (PLA), the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and River Police. The result of these assessments has helped BMT produce an overall report, which is to be passed to the PLA Navigation Advisory Panel (NAP) for endorsement and comment.
Additional feasibility studies have also been recently completed to further develop the overall strategy for this project, which is urgently needed to help tackle the 39 million tonnes of sewage discharged to the River Thames in an average year via ‘combined sewer overflows’. One of the project’s key objectives is to make best use of the River Thames to support construction and the transport of excavated material by barge where this is practical and economic.
Design Manager for Thames Tunnel, Gareth Thomas comments: “The identification of a practical, safe and economic bulk-material, river transport strategy is a key issue for the project. BMT’s knowledge of maritime logistics and navigational safety, including some unique expertise of transportation on the River Thames, is exactly the kind of experience we need to help support such a large scale project. The team is providing vital assistance in the assessment and feasibility of a number of maritime related issues.”
Lee Rhodes at BMT Isis explains: “We are committed to providing assurance to the Thames Tunnel team on the feasibility of using the river for the movement of construction and excavated material and that from a navigational perspective it will also be safe and have no adverse impact on existing river users. Our work is helping to develop the overall strategy and plays a fundamental role in assisting with the planning and consenting processes that are needed for such a large scale project.”
Following on from initial studies and public consultation, a number of sites originally identified may now have to be moved therefore, BMT has provided further technical advice to the project team in relation to: navigational impact; vessel access constraints and vessel requirements including size, type and numbers.