19 April 2024
by Alex Brinded

Construction on London's super sewer is complete

The 7.2m-wide Thames Tideway Tunnel is designed to dramatically reduce the tens of millions of tonnes of storm sewage that spills into the River Thames every year.

© Tideway London/Flickr

Commissioning of the 25km tunnel can now begin this summer, with full operation due in 2025.

The underground construction has been completed with the installation of a precast concrete, shaft-cover slab at the Abbey Mills Pumping Station in Stratford, East London.

The 24m-wide, 1,200t concrete lid on the 70m-deep shaft at Abbey Mills is the point where the 'super sewer' connects to the Lee Tunnel, which will take the sewage flow out of London for treatment at Beckton sewage works.

Tideway, the company building the super sewer for Thames Water, has built the full 25km, 7.2m-wide main tunnel, a 4.5km connection tunnel in south-east London, and a 1.1km tunnel in south-west London.

Tideway CEO Andy Mitchell says, 'This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The underground civil engineering on the Tideway project is now complete following eight years of dedicated hard work from all our teams working in the capital.  

'There is still work to do – we need to finish some above-ground structures and, crucially, test the system – but this nonetheless marks an absolutely critical milestone for the Tideway project and for London.'

Tideway is also continuing its architecture and landscaping works at various sites along the tunnel's route, including Blackfriars, Victoria and Chelsea.

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Alex Brinded

Staff Writer