London’s Thames Tideway project has marked a major milestone with the lowering of its first two TBMs at its Kirtling Street site near Battersea Power Station. The Ferrovial Agroman UK and Laing O’Rourke JV will use the two 8.2m diameter NFM TBMs to dig the central section of the £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel, a 25km long, 7.2m diameter super sewer tunnel being constructed to tackle the problem of sewage pollution in the River Thames.
The first machine, Millicent, will be used to tunnel 5km from Kirtling Street to Carnwath Road in Fulham. While the second, Ursula, will tunnel 7km from Kirtling Street to Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey.
Mark Sneesby, Tideway’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The lowering of our first two Tunnel Boring Machines marks a significant milestone for the project before tunnelling gets underway later this year.
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The lowering of the two TBM cutterheads – which weigh in at over 850 tonnes each- was a lengthy and complex process and took approximately eight hours to lower each TBM.
When fully assembled, each TBM will weigh in at 1300 tonnes, and will be the project’s largest, of six, tunnelling machines.
The West Contract of the tunnel is being constructed by BMB JV – BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty, whilst the East is in the hands of the CVB JV – Costain, Vinci Construction Grands Projects and Bachy Soletanche.
TBM construction is expected to last two years.