The company which is constructing London’s £4.1bn super sewer, Tideway, has stated in its newest published annual report that the scheme achieved several great milestones in 2020/21 despite pandemic restrictions.
Tideway should have to hold operations during the beginning of the national lockdown in spring 2020. However, the project was 63% complete, with 21km of tunnel built, at the end of the financial year 2020/21. The scheme is thus continuing its progress towards completion of its underground phase of works.
Two tunnel sections have been completed by Tideway during the year, taking the total to three out of five. Also, the permanent structures that are going to form the new riverside public realm began to take shape.
Tideway published a revised calculated of its costs and overall schedule in August 2020, taking account of the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the end of the year, the calculated project cost remains at £4.1bn, comparing to the regulatory baseline of £3.4bn. The anticipated date for completion is scheduled in first quarter of 2025, which is a nine-month slippage from the initial schedule.
Neville Simms, Tideway’s chairman stated: “This annual report records not just the achievements of the last year, but also the challenges that lie ahead.
“At the time of writing, there remains uncertainty regarding both the short and the longer-term financial impact of the pandemic and the effect of the extraordinary macroeconomic interventions, introduced by government, on revenue calculations and the regulatory response to these matters.”
Tideway mentioned it continued with its commitment to use the river as much as possible to deliver the project. It has now moved 4.5M.t of materials by boat, comprising 1.2M.t this year, avoiding an average of almost 100 lorries a day on London’s roads.
“This year our teams have had to meet a whole new set of challenges, including the creation of Covid-safe working environments. This was a feat of meticulous planning and care and I pay tribute to our teams, including our contractors, for what they achieved. It was this care that meant we were able to hit the ground running when we re-started and hit many milestones through the year,” said Tideway CEO Andy Mitchell.
He added: “We have much work ahead of us to get this vital project over the line but with our progress in the last 12 months, we are well on our way.”
The 25km long Thames Tideway Tunnel is going to be run from the Acton Storm Tanks in West London to the Lee Tunnel at Abbey Mills in East London, mainly below the River Thames.
The flow from over 30 combined sewer overflows will be diverted from the sewerage network into the key tunnel, where it will flow by gravity to the current Lee Tunnel. From there it will be run to the Tideway Pumping Station, to be pumped to Beckton sewage treatment works.
The Project’s Key milestones are:
- In September 2020, the west team saw the successful completion of tunnelling with (TBM) Rachel safely arriving at Acton after beginning her 7km journey from Carnwath Road in May 2019.
- In November 2020, the tunnel boring machine, Ursula, broke through into the shaft at Tideway’s Chambers Wharf site, marking the safe completion of the central section of the main tunnel that stretches from Fulham to Bermondsey.
- The greatest milestone for the east section of the project was the start of the final section of tunnelling with the launch of the final two TBMs on the project.