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Silverton Tunnel bores completed

Tunnel boring for London’s Silvertown Tunnel has been completed, with the tunnel boring machine (TBM) breaking through on the north side of the Thames River, reports Tunnels and Tunneling.

The 11.91 diameter Herrenknecht machine, the largest TBM to be used in the United Kingdom, was launched from Newham on the first bore in September last year. TBM Jill finished the 1.1 km southbound drive five months later, reaching Greenwich on February 15, 2023.

At Greenwich, the Riverlinx JV used nitrogen ‘skates’ to rotate the sections of the TBM in the reception chamber before it was reconfigured and reassembled to dig the northbound bore to Newham. The air cushion system was developed by Herrenknecht and its partners.

Helen Wright, head of the Silvertown Tunnel program at Transport for London (TfL), confirmed the TBM had arrived at Newham.

“The main tunnelling works at Silvertown are now completed, which once open will support growth in the local area, provide new public transport connections across the river via zero-emission bus routes, and address the chronic issues Londoners face at the Blackwall Tunnel. We remain committed to delivering this project with minimal impact to those living, working and visiting the local area and the project remains on target to be completed in 2025,” she said.

The twin-bore Silvertown Tunnel will link Newham on the north of the Thames to the Greenwich Peninsula on the south side, easing congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel.

Riverlinx JV comprises BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Construction and SK ecoplant. 

Image courtesy of Transport for London.

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