Tideway has announced that its first tunnel boring machine (TBM) parts have been lowered 53m into the shaft at Kirtling Street by the Ferrovial Agroman UK and Laing O’Rourke joint venture in readiness to start the first tunnel drive on London’s new super sewer.
The first TBM – named Millicent after English suffragist Dame Millicent Fawcett – will drive a 5km tunnel from Kirtling Street to Carnwath Road in Fulham.
A second TBM – named Ursula after British cryobiologist Audrey “Ursula” Smith – will be launched from the shaft later to drive a 7km tunnel to Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey.
“The lowering of our first TBMs marks a significant milestone for the project before tunnelling gets underway later this year,” said Tideway chief operating officer Mark Sneesby.
“London’s new super sewer will prevent tens of millions of tonnes of sewage from entering London’s iconic River Thames, the vein that runs through London, and will protect it for the next hundred years and future generations to come.”
Lowering of each 850t cutterhead was an eight-hour operation. The cutterheads have been positioned in adits off the main shaft to allow the rest of the TBM to be built behind.
A further four TBMs will be launched to complete the 25km tunnel.