Chelsea-Battersea tunnel nears completion

10 December 2018

Great Britain – Work on a new tunnel under the River Thames project in Battersea Park is nearing completion. Costing GBP 18M (22.9M USD), the 330m-long tunnel will transport gas under the Thames between Chelsea and Battersea in West London. Owned by gas distribution company Cadent, the tunnel forms part of a GBP 1bn programme to replace ageing infrastructure in the UK’s capital.

Engineers used a section of Battersea Park to sink one of the tunnel’s two 30m shafts and associated tunnelling and engineering works. Construction of the tunnel is complete and work is now well underway to landscape the former worksite.

Barhale and Skanska Civils carried out tunnel works with a support from Mott MacDonald. The crown was around 26m below ground level and 15m below the riverbed as the tunnel traverses the Thames, placing the bore entirely within stiff London Clay.

An 1800 Iseki Unclemole TCP machine has been used to excavate, as it was appropriate for clays and silts while being able to handle cobbles and boulders. The tunnel was lined with 1,800mm jacking pipes supplied by FP McCann. These jacking pipes have been reinforced with steel cages.

The tunnel project is due to be fully operational in 2019 and it forms part of Cadent’s ongoing investment to replace and upgrade ageing gas mains across its North London network with safer and more durable modern pipes. This programme will aim to reduce the amount of unplanned repair work to ageing gas pipes on the network.