Thames Water announce latest phase in controversial Thames Tunnel Project

Thames Water and engineering consultants BMT Isis have announced the latest stage of the Thames Tunnel project, which aims to clean-up the River Thames by tackling sewer discharges.

The works on the River Thames will begin this autumn and BMT Isis is helping to develop the overall tunnel strategy for the proposed Thames Tunnel, which is needed to help tackle the 39 million tonnes of sewage discharged in to the river each year.

In the latest phase in the project, risk assessments and consultation with river users, and the relevant authorities such as the Port of London Authority (PLA), the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and River Police have been carried out by BMT Isis.

As a result of these assessments, BMT has produced an overall report which will be passed to the PLA Navigation Advisory Panel (NAP) for endorsement and comment.

Although the London Assembly provisionally approved the project in December last year, it said it was concerned about some aspects of the plan, including construction noise and pollution, and the additional cost for Thames Water customers.

As part of the project, the River Thames will be used to support construction and the transport of excavated material by barge boat.

Thames Tunnel’s design manager, Gareth Thomas, said: “The identification of a practical, safe and economic bulk-material, river transport strategy is a key issue for the project.

“BMT’s knowledge of maritime logistics and navigational safety, including some unique expertise of transportation on the River Thames, is exactly the kind of experience we need to help support such a large scale project. The team is providing vital assistance in the assessment and feasibility of a number of maritime related issues.”

BMT Isis’s Lee Rhodes said: “We are committed to providing assurance to the Thames Tunnel team on the feasibility of using the river for the movement of construction and excavated material and that from a navigational perspective it will also be safe and have no adverse impact on existing river users.

“Our work is helping to develop the overall strategy and plays a fundamental role in assisting with the planning and consenting processes that are needed for such a large scale project.”

Carys Matthews

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