Scottish government environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham hailed the work on Scottish Water’s £100M Shieldhall Tunnel as “extraordinary” during the official opening yesterday.
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Work on the new 5.2km sewer in Glasgow was undertaken by joint venture contractors Vinci Construction Grands Projets and Costain with input from Bachy Soletanche for piling work and Soil Engineering Geoservices for grouting of mine workings along the route.
The tunnel transports waste water between Craigton and Queen’s Park via Bellahouston and Pollok parks. Work on the scheme started in 2015 and was bored by a 1,000t Herrenknecht tunnel boring machine, named Daisy the Driller.
The tunnel will alleviate pressure on the existing waste water network with 90,000m3 of extra storm water storage to reduce the amount and frequency of waste water discharged from combined sewer overflows and also reduce flooding.
Cunningham said that the Shieldhall Tunnel built on the legacy of the country’s engineering and water pioneers and would benefit communities for centuries to come.
Following the official opening, flows have started to run through the tunnel from across the south-side of Glasgow with communities expected to benefit from fewer flooding incidents and improved environmental conditions.
Cunningham said: “The strategic importance of the Shieldhall Tunnel as part of the ongoing investment across Glasgow by Scottish Water cannot be understated. It’s a fantastic example of the capital investment programme delivering real long-term benefits for communities to reduce flooding, help deal with the impact of climate change and improve the environment.
“Much of our underground infrastructure for water and waste water dates to the Victorian era when we proudly led the way in introducing massive improvements to deliver positive impact on the health of our communities. Communities across Glasgow will benefit for years to come from this latest extraordinary feat of engineering which lies hidden deep beneath the city.
“It represents the latest chapter in our collective aim to provide safe and sustainable ways of managing waste in our biggest city. It is a significant part of the overall investment in Greater Glasgow which is essential to economic prosperity regionally and nationally. Scottish Water is investing £3.5bn throughout the country to deliver infrastructure which is fit for communities now and for decades to come.”
Scottish Water chief executive Douglas Millican added: “We are delighted to have completed the Shieldhall Tunnel, which is the flagship project in Scottish Water’s investment in the waste water infrastructure in the Greater Glasgow area – the biggest in well over a century.
“The city’s waste water infrastructure required major improvements to help transform it into a modern, integrated and sustainable system which will improve the environment and biodiversity on the River Clyde and help tackle flooding.
“As the Greater Glasgow area continues to develop, we are modernising our waste water infrastructure to support the needs of both existing and future customers.
“The completion of the Shieldhall Tunnel is a key part of that network modernisation.”