WATCH: Tideway has marked a major milestone with the lowering of its first two boring machines near Battersea Power Station.
The two TBMs – named Millicent and Ursula after pioneering women who lived and worked in London close to Tideway’s sites – will be used to dig the central section of the 25 km Thames Tideway Tunnel.
Millicent will tunnel 5 km from Kirtling Street to Carnwath Road in Fulham, while Ursula will bore 7 km from Kirtling Street to Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey.
The lowering of the two TBM cutterheads, which weigh more than 850 tonnes each, took approximately eight hours.
The machines will now be fully assembled, which will see them reach 100 m in length and 1,300 tonnes in weight.
A total of six TBMs will be used during the project, and they will remain underground for almost two years as the tunnels are dug.
Kirtling Street is in the central section of the Tideway project, which is being delivered by a Ferrovial Agroman UK and Laing O’Rourke joint venture.
Tideway chief operating officer Mark Sneesby said: “The lowering of our first two TBMs marks a significant milestone for the project before tunnelling gets under way later this year.
“London’s new super-sewer will prevent tens of millions of tonnes of sewage from entering the Thames […] and will protect it for the next 100 years and future generations to come.”