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TBM Ursula resumes tunnel drive

Tunnel Boring Machine Ursula resumes tunnel drive

Ursula, Tideway's eastbound tunnel boring machine (TBM) launched from Kirtling Street, has resumed her journey towards the Chambers Wharf site in Bermondsey.

The giant tunnelling machine had been safely stopped underneath the shaft structure at Blackfriars Bridge Foreshore since February. The planned stoppage allowed the team to reconfigure the machine and prepare the cutterhead for different ground conditions deep below east London.

Since launching from Tideway's Kirtling Street site in March 2019, Ursula has completed 4.5km of her 7.5km journey. Having already passed the London Eye and Palace of Westminster on her subterranean route; Ursula will pass under Tower Bridge before arriving at Tideway's Chambers Wharf site in Bermondsey. 

Paul Hallows, Site Manager at Kirtling Street said: “This has been one of the most challenging pieces of work to restart under the new safety guidelines, but the team have worked incredibly hard to ensure every possible measure is in place and we’re happy we can proceed safely.”

“There's still a huge amount of work required to get us to Chambers Wharf, but we’re confident we can finish this section of tunnel, meeting the same standards we have already set.”

Millicent, the westbound TBM launched from the Kirtling Street site in Battersea, completed her 5km drive to Fulham in November last year