A giant tunnel boring machine (TBM) set to create the final 5.5km stretch of London’s new super sewer has arrived in the capital.
The TBM, Selina, was this week delivered to Tideway’s Chambers Wharf site in Bermondsey, where she will be lifted onto the site before beginning her underground journey toward Abbey Mills Pumping Station later in the year.
A total of six TBMs are being used to create London’s super sewer (with two already finished tunnelling), meaning Selina is the final machine to begin work – but she is also the deepest.
Beginning her journey more than 60m below the ground, Selina will tunnel on a slight decline toward the pumping station in east London.
Maurice Gallagher, Deputy Delivery Manager for the eastern section of the project, said: “To welcome Selina to site is a great moment for Tideway – and for London.
“Although there is much work still to be done, her arrival in the capital means we’re on the final stretch – and closer than ever to a cleaner, healthier River Thames.”
Selina was delivered to Chambers Wharf using a giant vessel called the Skylift 3000, having travelled 800km over the water from the port of Kehl in Germany to the banks of the Thames in central London.
Tideway has committed to using the river to transport construction materials where possible to reduce congestion and our impact on air quality – transporting Selina over the water, instead of by road, prevented around 100,000km of road transport.
Each of Tideway’s six TBMs was named, via a public vote, in honour of inspirational women from history associated with the local area.
Selina is named after Dr Selina Fox, who founded the Bermondsey Medical Mission in 1904. The small clinic and eight-bed hospital provided medical and spiritual care to the most vulnerable women and children in the area, and continues to this day as a local charity.
Tunnelling predominantly through chalk, TBM Selina will head north east towards the already-built Lee Tunnel, which links Abbey Mills Pumping Station to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works.
Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey is a key site for the Tideway project – the launch site of Selina, but also the site at which TBMs Ursula (currently en route from Battersea) and Annie (soon to begin her journey from Greenwich) will finish.