ALE reaches Thames Tidesway milestone

18 April 2018 by Sotiris Kanaris


ALE completed the second phase of work on the Thames Tideway project in London, UK, having successful loaded-on and transported tunnel boring machine (TBM) components.

The Thames Tideway project involves the construction of a 25km underground tunnel, up to 66m deep, which will help to expand London’s sewerage system.

ALE’s first phase of work on the project began in November 2017 with the construction of two TBM cradles in Tideway Central’s laydown area.

In January 2018, the second phase commenced with the delivery of 72 components to the site, weighing between 9-119t, for two TBMs.

A specially designed sheerleg system was used to unload the heaviest items and a crawler crane for the remaining components. Both methods were chosen as the best equipment to maximise the lifting schedule within the available tidal window and optimise cost savings.

The components were then transported to the laydown area using eight axle lines of SPMT.

Chris Horan, ALE’s project manager said: “By designing the sheerleg to specifically fit within the capacity of the jetty, we could provide the most cost-effective method to the client. The bespoke equipment our R&D division designed for the Thames Tideway project has enabled us to complete the first two phases swiftly and safely.

“There are so many stakeholders involved across the whole project, so we are delighted to have successfully coordinated the transportation of so many components within the tight project schedule. We are looking forward to progressing to the next phase of the Thames Tideway project.”

The next phase will involve the assembly of the components onto the cradles by the client, where ALE will then complete their scope by transporting the two TBMs on site and lowering them down a 65m-deep shaft.

ALE is working on Tideway Central, the only one of the project’s three drive sites that requires the transportation of two TBMs, with the other two sites, Tideway East and Tideway West, each needing only one TBM.