Scottish Water has announced that its contractor Caledonia Water Alliance (CWA) has completed a tunnel drive below the A77 near Kilmarnock for a new water pipeline.
The tunnel boring machine (TBM) was used to drive the 60m long, 1.2m diameter tunnel and allowed the pipe to be installed without impacting on road traffic.
CWA is now using the TBM to drive another 70m tunnel at 4m below the River Irvine for another section of the new pipeline.
“We are continuing to make good progress with the project and this latest piece of work near Kilmarnock is a very important part of that,” said Scottish Water senior construction manager Sean Lavin.
“When planning the work, we did everything we could to minimise any disruption or inconvenience to road users. We recognised how busy the A77 is at this location and that is one of the reasons why we opted to construct a tunnel, which doesn’t require any roadworks.
“In addition, although we previously diverted a stretch of the Craufurdland Water further north to install a stretch of the same water main beneath the river bed, we decided to tunnel beneath the River Irvine at Hurlford.
“This was because trenching and diverting the river would have been much more difficult due to the size of the river and lack of space at the crossing point and because it would have been much more disruptive. At all times during this project, we try to do whatever we can to minimise disruption to road users and the natural environment.”
Trenchless techniques are being used elsewhere on the project with horizontal directional drilling being used to install more than 5km of pipe north of the Fenwick area at Glenouther Moor to take the pipeline below the M77 and A77 near South Drunboy Farm.