Going Underground

Posted on: 18 Apr 2017

The £4.2 billion project to construct a 25km sewer tunnel running from West to East London to tackle the problem of sewage overflows into the Thames is well underway. Waste is created by vast tunnel bores which are lowered into the ground where they drill the tunnel in sections at a rate of around 100 metres per week. In 2016 McGrath was appointed as its waste management/recycling contractor to remove the waste from the Central section of the tunnel and has just had the opportunity to tender for the East section.

London#s Thames Tideway Tunnel under construction

Currently, McGrath is collecting the waste soil in skips, taking it by road to their Barking MRF. From June, however, the waste will be removed by barge and McGrath’s wharf facilities are ideally located to accept the waterborne waste. Each shipload will replace an average of up to 140 lorry journeys, not only helping to minimise the project’s carbon footprint but also helping to reduce the congestion on London’s roads.

Wharf waste transfer facilities in London in use

In addition to the removal and processing of the waste soil McGrath is also collecting waste from Tilbury, one of the project’s satellite sites where their supplies and packaging are delivered from around the country.

McGrath’s performance while removing waste during the construction of the Central section has demonstrated an ability to work in line with the project’s tight timeframe programme while maintaining a good working relationship with all other contractors.

Tideway is the company delivering the Thames Tideway Tunnel with completion expected by early 2024.

Read Construction News’ Jack Simpson on the employment statistics for the project and the opportunities it is creating for London’s workforce.