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Daily Archives: December 30, 2021

Record-breaking TBM on way to Silvertown Tunnel

The largest tunnel boring machine to be used in the UK has passed factory tests and is being shipped in pieces from Germany to the Silvertown Tunnel project in East London.

The diameter of the TBM measures 11.91m – equivalent of almost three double decker buses – dwarfing other recent tunnelling machines.

First machine pieces have begun to arrive on site from maker Herrenknecht’s works keeping the programme of assembly on track for the TBM launch next Spring.

A joint venture between BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Construction and SK Ecoplant, known as Riverlinx Construction, is delivering 1.4km twin-lane road tunnel under the River Thames, linking North Greenwich and Silvertown.

How TBMs measure up

Silvertown diameter (11.9m); weight 1,800 tonnesCrossrail project (7.1m); 526 tonnesNorthern line extension (6.03m); 310 tonnesThames Tideway project (8.85m); 780 tonnes.Largest HS2 TBM (10.3m); 2,000 tonnesChannel Tunnel (8.8m); 1,100 tonnes

The TBM will set off from the Silvertown launch chamber, piling for which is now completed and is currently being excavated.

It will then be rotated and relaunched from the Greenwich Peninsula, to excavate the second tunnel, completing a total drive of 2.2km.

The ability to turn the TBM around is an important feature of its bespoke design which also incorporates the need for it to navigate its way through the stiff clay layers and boulders in this part of London.

When finished, it will have excavated nearly 600,000 tonnes of material, extracted by barges along the river to keep construction traffic to a minimum during the project.

Juan Jose Bregel, Project Director, Riverlinx CJV: “It gives me and the delivery team an enormous sense of pride to have reached this important milestone for the Silvertown Tunnel project.

“Not only seeing the works really taking shape in preparation for launch at the two main sites at Silvertown and Greenwich but feeling the excitement of what is still to come as the pieces of the TBM arrive to be reassembled and launched in the first quarter of 2022.”

 

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Peel sets out vast Chatham Docks regen plan

Developer Peel L&P has set out its plans for further major investment in the redevelopment of Chatham Docks Industrial Estate in Kent.

A masterplan released by the developer outlines its new ambition to build 3,600 homes and a 1m sq ft new employment zone at the 90-acre riverside site.


Peel L&P masterplan vision for Chatham Docks. Key:  Green – public open space; Green arrows – connectivity; Red and Orange – residential; Blue – employment space

Overall, the scheme has the potential to deliver 1.9m sq ft of floorspace which is similar to the scale of Peel L&P’s MediaCityUK development in Salford Quays.

Peel L&P has been investing in Medway for over a decade at its Chatham Waters development.

Since 2011, Peel L&P has pumped £125m into the redevelopment of the brownfield site, creating around 400 new homes, with a further 550 to be built over the next four years including 237 affordable homes and a new care home.

Waterfront UTC, and Mast & Rigging pub and restaurant. There is a further £500m to be invested over the next four years in Chatham Waters specifically on green community areas and an events zone.

James Whittaker, Executive Director of Development at Peel L&P said: “The vision is for a mixed-use sustainable community with a large employment area focusing on the digital, creative and health sectors along with a mix of homes including affordable homes, family housing, build to rent, open market and elderly living.

“The waterfront is a beautiful place, we have the chance to maximise this and create a community benefit that means all can enjoy the health and wellbeing advantages associated with this.”


Map depicting Chatham Waters and future redevelopment at Chatham Docks Industrial Estate


Completed residential, education and public realm at Peel L&P’s Chatham Waters

 

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Groundworker suffers burns during poorly planned dig

A contractor and its groundworks subbie have been fined £400,000 after unsafe excavation work left a worker with serious burns to his hand and arm.

High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court heard that, on the 2 August 2018, a groundworker was preparing the ground to install a post to carry an Automatic Number Plate Recognition Camera at Twyford near Reading, Berkshire.

Initially, the worker hand dug then started to use an 110V mechanical electric breaker when he struck a power cable supplying an adjacent British Telecommunications building.

The voltage of the cable was 415v causing the ground worker to receive an electric shock that caused burns to one hand and to his opposite arm.

An HSE investigation found that site plans for buried cables had not been consulted and a cable avoidance tool had not been used to locate buried services in advance of carrying out the work.

In addition, there was a lack of properly trained labour and supervision in place for the excavation works.

The principal contractor on site had failed to plan, manage and monitor the excavation works and also failed to provide adequate supervision for the project.

CLC Contractors Limited of Southampton pleaded guilty to breaching CDM regulations and were fined £400,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £5,300.00.

Subcontractor Paul Gale, Company Director of PAG Building Services Ltd of Southampton also pleaded guilty to safety breaches

Due to the seriousness of the offence the case was referred to Aylesbury Crown Court where Gale was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months and 150 hour of community service. HSE was awarded costs of £7,200.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector John Caboche said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.

“In this instance, readily available buried service records were not consulted, and a cable avoidance tool was not provided to the groundworks team. Utilising these simple steps would have prevented this serious incident.”

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