Work is set to begin on Thames Tideway Tunnel, a £4.2bn sewage system, which will modernise London’s ageing sewage system.
The first two tunnel-boring machines will begin work on the 25km tunnel, marking the beginning of work on one of the largest projects of its kind in Europe later in 2018.
Minister for London Jo Johnson, accompanied by Treasury Minister Robert Jenrick and Deputy Leader of Wandsworth Council Jonathan Cook, visited the site and saw first-hand how the scheme, which will be the biggest ever investment in the capital’s sewerage system, will benefit Londoners.
Johnson said: “London is a thriving international city, and people will always want to move here. We must ensure that opportunities for housing and work are there – and that Londoners are offered the best possible quality of life.
“The Thames Tideway Tunnel is an incredible feat of engineering and a big part of this ambition. It will help guarantee that the groundwork is in place to support our great city for the decades to come.”
The Thames Tideway Tunnel is expected to deliver economic benefits worth billions of pounds to London, and will modernise the capital’s ageing sewage system for the next 100 years.
Expected to be completed in 2023, the project will also improve the river’s water quality significantly by reducing the amount of sewage overflowing into the river.
The Thames Tideway Tunnel will begin at Action Storm Tanks in West London (30 metres deep) and end at Abbey Mills Pumping Station in East London (67 metres deep).
The government has been working with the water industry on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project. In 2015, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs agreed to the project’s financing and delivery model with the water sector, enabling the tunnel to be built without taxpayers’ money.
Tideway COO Mark Sneesby said: “The lowering of our first two tunnel-boring machines will mark a significant milestone for the construction of Thames Tideway Tunnel, ahead of tunnelling later this year.
“When complete, the tunnel will prevent tens of millions of tonnes of untreated sewage entering London’s iconic River Thames every year.”