The Thames Tideway Tunnel, also known as the ‘Super Sewer’, is a 25 km-long tunnel designed to reduce sewage pollution in London’s River Thames. Underground construction was finished last month, with Sarens installing a massive slab cover.

Sarens completes Thames Tideway scope with slab installation

Source: Sarens

The Belgian heavy transport and engineering specialist installed the final shaft cover slab into place at Abbey Mills pumping station in Stratford, East London. The pre-cast concrete cover weighed 1,200 tonnes and measured 24 m in diameter. 

Sarens was selected by the CBV joint venture for this operation. Using a purpose-built SPMT mounted gantry crane, Sarens lifted and moved the cover slab into place during an operation lasting five hours. The cover slab is the heaviest piece handled on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project – even surpassing the lifting of Tideway’s six tunnel boring machines in the early stages. 

The assembly of the SPMT gantry, which included main beams weighing 100 tonnes each, took four weeks. 50 trucks brought all the equipment to site from Belgium and Southampton. Coordination of the deliveries was critical as there was not room onsite to store materials meaning they had to be incorporated into the gantry on arrival.

A CC2800 crawler crane was used to assemble the systems; thanks to the limited site space this crane was selected as it could assembly the entire gantry from one position. 

The Thames Tideway Tunnel should be fully operational in 2025.