Work is underway to remove more temporary structures built out into the River Thames at super sewer sites across London revealing more of the public spaces that will be left behind when construction is completed.
Cofferdams are beginning to be removed at locations including Albert Embankment in Vauxhall and King Edward Memorial Park in Wapping. This has allowed water from the Thames to flow against the new river walls and riverside architecture for the first time.
Cofferdams are the temporary areas of land built out into the river with metal perimeters to give the necessary space for construction of the super sewer. At many sites this also involved the construction of giant shafts through which equipment such as Tunnel Boring Machines could be lowered below ground or vortex structures could be installed which will take sewage flow once the tunnel is operational.
At Albert Embankment, openings have been made in the cofferdam sheet piles to allow the flooding of two of three cofferdams at this site. This will equalise the water pressures on both sides of the walls to allow for the safe cutting and pulling of the sheet piles. Terrace planting has already been installed on the new floodable intertidal public spaces becoming visible behind the cofferdams.
Meanwhile at King Edward Memorial Park, the cofferdam removal works have also started which marks another key milestone at this site.
Once the sheet piles are removed more of the new riverwall will be revealed with its specially constructed “boxy” design that will benefit a range of wildlife, ranging from crabs to algae.