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Theodora the Borer starts two-mile sewer

A tunnel boring machine named Theodora the Borer has been lowered into place in West Ham, east London.

The machine used by main contractor Costain will bore a 3.3 km tunnel as part of a £65 million scheme to protect more than 600 homes from sewer flooding.

Boring of 2.8m diameter sewer will start at Abbey Mills pumping station and end at Earlham Grove, off Woodgrange Road in Forest Gate.

A further three access shafts are located at Densham Open Space, West Ham Park and Upton Lane.

It is set for completion in spring 2010.

The tunnel will link with the existing sewer network by taking sewage flows directly to Abbey Mills. In addition, 5 km of sewers leading to the tunnel will be enlarged and modernised under the scheme.

The machine being used was named Theodora by a pupil from nearby St Antony’s Primary School in Forest Gate.

Eileen Edusah, 10, said: “I called the tunnel boring machine Theodora because that’s my mum’s name and I think it’s nice.”

Other names considered included Beyonce, Leona and Alexandra.