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River freight marks the arrival of Tideway in Bermondsey

Almost 100 office units will be floating up the Thames to Bermondsey this week as Tideway delivers its first site offices by river, helping to minimise lorries on local roads.

The delivery marks the arrival of Tideway’s contractors at Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey, the base for construction of the eastern section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel where up until now, preparatory works have focused on clearing the site and getting the necessary utility diversions in place.

Tideway is the new company set up to deliver the 25km-long sewerage tunnel, urgently needed to help tackle discharges of untreated sewage to the River Thames. It will be built up to 66m below ground.

In anticipation of tunnelling work starting in 2018, 96 building units will be brought to the site by river from the Port of Tilbury, using local barge firm S Walsh, to set up offices for the contractors, a joint venture between Costain, Vinci Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche.

Chambers Wharf is the starting point for the east section of the tunnel, which will run to Abbey Mills Pumping Station in Stratford where it will join the recently completed Lee Tunnel, to transfer the excess sewage to Beckton for treatment.

Jackie Roe, Tideway’s Delivery Manager for the East Section, said:

“This is our first major delivery to Chambers Wharf and underlines our commitment to use the river to transport as much as we can, so we can keep lorries off London’s road and help revitalise the river economy.

“The cabins will be transported 22 nautical miles up the Thames from the Port of Tilbury to Chambers Wharf on the Southern bank of the river. More than eight barge journeys will be completed each carrying up to 12 units.”

Working together, the Port of Tilbury and S Walsh, has provided the storage, handling and the delivery by water to the site where the offices are in place for the duration of the project.

Peter Ward, Senior Asset Manager from the Port of Tilbury said:

“We are excited to be part of this major construction project in London. With the delivery of the building units for the Tideway East project team, we have demonstrated how effective waterborne transportation is to deliver into Central London. By using the River Thames, we are not only reducing the road mile impact for the project but we are also helping to reduce congestion on the roads.”