TBM pops up in Preston city centre 20 Feb 2013
Murphy News Release
- To complete 3.5km of tunnelling under Preston city centre in the north west of the England, tunnelling crews of J Murphy & Sons celebrated the final TBM breakthrough for the city's new interceptor and stormwater retention sewer project.
Preston tunnelling team celebrate breakthrough
- The £114m sewer improvement scheme as part of its capital programme in west Lancashire and north Manchester for United Utilities is being completed by the KMI+ joint venture of Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd, J. Murphy & Sons, and Interserve Construction Ltd.
- The project started two years ago and involves a 6km complex of interceptor sewers, stormwater storage tunnels, rising mains and 13 access shafts designed to upgrade the city's aged sewer system. A workforce of some 200 worked around the clock to deliver the scheme. Working shafts at three locations outside Preston city centre allowed the boring machine to progress 26m beneath the surface.
- "The tunnel is very much the lynch-pin of the whole Preston project," said Carl Sanders, Senior Project Manager at United Utilities. "The existing century-old combined sewerage system regularly exceeded capacity, with frequent flood-induced overflows directly into the river. The tunnel main will direct flow to the city's wastewater treatment works." The project is part of the United Utilities scheme in the Preston area to improve the quality of the Fylde Coast bathing waters and protect designated shellfish beds in the Ribble Estuary.
- "The whole scheme has been very challenging," said Andy Parker, Contracts Manager for KMI+, "but teamwork and innovation has helped us overcome this. Even before work started we knew the sewer upgrade would be complex. Our solutions have included a complex grouting and dewatering system and application of a German pipe thrusting technique. Never before used in the UK, it proved to be fast and cost effective."
- Once fully operational the new network will intercept flows and divert them 10km westward via a new pumping station, to the town's main treatment works at Clifton Marsh. A 2.5km stormwater storage tunnel and two linked shafts will hold back up to 40,500m3 of stormwater for regulating its flow to the treatment works.
- The project and its tunnelling experience is the focus of the BTS (British Tunnelling Society) meeting in May on Thursday the 16th, at the Institution of Civil Engineers at 1 Great George Street in Westminster, London. All are welcome to attend.
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