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Vortex tube arrives at Putney

A 55-tonne vortex tube has been delivered and lowered down the shaft at Tideway's Putney Embankment Foreshore site as part of the work on London’s super sewer.

The vortex is designed to control the rate at which sewage flows down the shaft before it reaches the main Thames Tideway Tunnel.

The operation involved the arrival of a 500-tonne crane on site to begin the final preparatory work before the lift of the 23 metre-long tube. Fabricated in Blackburn by Steel Dynamics, the tube undertook a 238-mile escorted journey arriving in Putney early on Wednesday morning.

The challenging tandem lift between the 500-tonne mobile crane and a 140-tonne crawler crane involved a ‘top and tail’ lift to bring the vortex tube into a vertical position before being lowered safely down the shaft.

Months of careful planning led to a faultless operation on the day. Construction Director on the western section of the Tideway project Peter Leyton said: “Well done to the team for carrying out the Putney Embankment vortex tube lift. I can say having witnessed the lift that, at all times the operation was smooth and well organised.

"It was evident that plenty of planning had gone into the logistics, the complex lift and the final installation. A huge achievement for the site and the western section of the project.”