United Utilities TBM progressing under M65

Boring a new wastewater pipeline beneath the M65 motorway at Darwen in Lancashire, northern England has been started by United Utilities, the UK water services provider. The project forms part of the £150m Blackburn and Darwen wastewater upgrade program.
The 1.8m-diameter TBM is expected to take nearly eight weeks to complete its bore, having been lowered by crane into the launch shaft just off the M65 on 27 July 2020. The 23t laser-guided machine is being driven from the surface by LiMA (main contractor) – a trading brand of Laing O’Rourke which forms (along with Atkins) the Joint Venture that was awarded the project in December 2017.
The TBM is boring a 270m-long tunnel, mining at depths of about 16m below the motorway. The tunnel will form part of the 1.6 km pipeline which is laid between the Blackburn and Darwen wastewater treatment works.
The project intends to improve local watercourses that are tributaries of the River Darwen which feeds into the River Ribble. It is foreseen that the project will also help improving bathing water quality along the Fylde coast.
The installation at Blackburn of Nereda technology, hailed as a ‘significant and evolutionary step in wastewater treatment’, is an essential element of the project.
It is expected to have the project operational by 2021.
Source: Tunnels and Tunneling

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