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100-RG-ENG-00000-900006-EOR_Spring 2010

100-RG-ENG-00000-900006-EOR_Spring 2010

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Risk management considerations

3.5.1 The British Tunnelling Society’s and the Association of British Insurers’ Joint Code of
Practice for Risk Management of Tunnel Works in the UK recommendations should be
adopted for all significant tunnelling projects in the UK, including the Thames Tunnel. The
objective of the code is to promote and secure best practice for the minimisation and
management of risks associated with tunnelling works and to set out best practices that
should be adopted. At the core of the code is an obligation that owners, designers and
contractors should have processes in place to identify and manage risks throughout the life
of the project.

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3.5.2 The project has a risk management plan and procedures in place to manage and control
risks and comply with the requirements of the Joint Code of Practice for Risk Management
of Tunnel Works in the UK. Refer also to Health and safety engineering risk considerations
in Section 4.

General tunnel considerations

Tunnel diameters

3.5.3 Tunnels should be sized to suit the hydraulic performance of the system and the storage
capacity requirement. This indicates that the main tunnel between its upper western end
near Hammersmith PS and Beckton STW needs to be a minimum 7.2m internal diameter
throughout its length.
3.5.4 Connection tunnels will connect CSOs to the main tunnel via drop shafts. These tunnels
should be sized to carry the design flows from the CSOs at gradients to limit maximum flow
velocities to 3.5m/s, but not exceeding a maximum gradient of 1:200. The size of the
connection tunnels will vary, depending on the flow, from 2m to 5m internal diameter. The
minimum tunnel size for safe man access is assumed to be 2m internal diameter.

Vertical tunnel alignments

3.5.5 The vertical alignment of the main tunnel should follow an approximate gradient of about
one in 850. The overriding criteria controlling the gradient that can be achieved are the
hydraulic functional performance, the constraints imposed by existing and proposed
third-party infrastructure and the tunnel tie-in connection level at either Beckton STW or
Abbey Mills PSs. The main third-party constraints are the Thames Water Lee Valley Water
Tunnel near Hammersmith Bridge, and the proposed National Grid ‘Wimbledon to Kensal
Green’ tunnel.
3.5.6 The vertical distance separating the Lee Valley Water Tunnel and the main tunnel crossing
above would be about 5m. Other existing deep level service tunnels, including National
Grid’s Beverley Brook tunnel and a number of BT Openreach tunnels also present
constraints on the alignment. In addition to these, the planned National Grid ‘Wimbledon to
Kensal Green’ tunnel is also noted as requiring co-ordination to ensure that possible
interference between these future projects is minimised. The distance between the tunnel
and other existing third-party underground tunnels is less critical to the vertical tunnel
alignment.
3.5.7 The potential connection tunnel connecting Deptford SR and Greenwich PS CSOs to the
main tunnel would be restricted vertically by the Jubilee underground line that crosses the
Rotherhithe Peninsula.

Horizontal tunnel alignments

3.5.8 There are three routes for the main tunnel between west London Hammersmith PS and
Beckton STW or Abbey Mills PSs, described in Section 3.3 of this report.
3.5.9 These alignment options generally follow the line of the River Thames, particularly to the
west of Tower Bridge. There are numerous second order alignment options that are
identified and compared in Section 4 of this report. These must all satisfy the hydraulic
flow regime requirements.
3.5.10 The minimum horizontal radius for the main tunnel is taken to be 600m for practicable
construction purposes. Smaller diameter, segmental lined, connection tunnels are taken to
be typically of a minimum radius of 300m, although techniques can be employed to
achieve lower radii.
3.5.11 In order to minimise the effect of tunnelling on third-party infrastructure, the tunnel should,
so far as practicable:

pass under the centre of the mid-deck span of bridges

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avoid interfaces with sensitive existing structures, such as the original Thames
Tunnel (Brunel’s ‘Thames Tunnel’, now carrying the East London underground line)
and the Rotherhithe road tunnel

avoid passing beneath high-rise buildings on deep piles.
3.5.12 The alignment of CSO connection tunnels will generally be based upon the location of the
main tunnel and its shafts, along with hydraulic considerations.

Tunnel lining

3.5.13 The primary lining for the main tunnel is assumed to comprise a reinforced concrete,
tapered, segmental lining ring, approximately 350mm thick and 7.8m internal diameter.
This assumes a 300mm thick concrete secondary lining8

to provide the required finished
tunnel of 7.2m internal diameter. The connection tunnels are also assumed to have a
secondary lining for the purposes of this report.

Shaft sizes

3.5.14 The main tunnel drive shafts are anticipated to be 25m internal diameter, with depths
ranging from 40m in west London to 65m or 75m in east London, depending on the main
tunnel route. Shafts of 25m are considered to be the minimum size required to both
ensure that a TBM can be launched and that all equipment required for safe construction of
the tunnel can be accommodated.
3.5.15 The intermediate shafts and reception shafts for the main tunnel are assumed to have an
internal diameter of between 20m and 25m.
3.5.16 The internal diameter of CSO shafts range from 6m to 20m to suit the hydraulic
requirements, although at some locations, it may be advantageous to incorporate the CSO
connection culvert directly into a main tunnel shaft.

Location of main tunnel shafts

3.5.17 The preferred location of main tunnel shafts for construction from solely an engineering
viewpoint is influenced by the tunnel drive options and other considerations described in
Section 4 of this report. In addition, consideration has been given to the following
functional requirements:

Every ten years, the tunnels will be inspected for operational and maintenance
purposes. Access to the main tunnel will be via main tunnel shafts. A safe
methodology, including equipment, will be developed to reduce, where possible, the
need for additional intermediate shafts, simply to provide access between drive
shafts. This is the basis of inspection and maintenance access for other large CSO
schemes in the world.

The main tunnel shafts will incorporate weirs9

to allow spills into the River Thames
during full tunnel conditions. As a minimum, there would be an overflow weir at
Beckton STW and two between Shad and the Charlton/Woolwich areas, and at least
two upstream of Wandsworth. This would need to be subject to further hydraulic
modelling.

8

The decision about whether secondary lining is required has not be made at the time of writing this report,
but this report has been based on the assumption that it is required, as that represents the worst case for
programme considerations.

9

This report reflects the information available at the time of writing, when it was anticipated that overflows to
the river would be required at main tunnel shafts. Subsequent to the preparation of this report, it was
considered that overflows would not be required at all main tunnel shafts.

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Tunnelling and shaft construction methods

Tunnelling construction methods

3.5.18 The main tunnel has been assumed to have an external excavated diameter of 8.8m to
provide for a 7.2m internal diameter after allowing for the primary lining, secondary lining10
and annulus grout thicknesses.
3.5.19 In order to achieve a completion date in 2020, several TBMs will be required. In addition to
this, managing construction risk and the suitability of TBM types for the varying ground
conditions along the route will also affect the determination of the number of TBMs to be
used.
3.5.20 The geology and hydrogeology along each tunnel alignment will influence the selection of
the TBM type. Full face TBMs will be required to support the ground during tunnelling to
prevent excessive water inflows and excess excavation, and therefore minimise scope for
ground settlement.
3.5.21 The types of full face TBMs can be either earth pressure balance (EPB) or slurry/mixshield.
However, convertible TBMs, which have been used in the past, can operate as either an
EPB or slurry machine but result in additional plant, equipment and impact to programme,
to allow for changes to the operational method. For the purpose of this report, it has been
assumed that specific machines will be tailored to the ground conditions. These would
typically be EPB type TBMs for the main tunnel drives through the Lambeth Group west of
the Shad PS area and also the London Clay, and slurry type TBMs for the eastern drives
through the Chalk.

Shafts construction methods

3.5.22 The geology, hydrogeology, depth and size of shaft will influence the method of shaft
construction. Various methods of construction can be used, such as:

segmental lined caisson or underpinned construction

sprayed concrete lined

reinforced concrete sunk caisson

secant piled wall

diaphragm wall.
3.5.23 The construction of shafts in the London Clay is likely to be by conventional methods, with
segmental lining, sunk either as a caisson or underpinned. Sprayed concrete linings are
also possible.
3.5.24 Where the shafts are very deep, constructed through mixed ground conditions and under
high groundwater pressures, diaphragm wall type construction is the most likely method of
construction. In general, the diaphragm wall type of construction requires a larger working
area than other methods of shaft construction. A diaphragm wall shaft is a reinforced
concrete lined shaft, comprising individually installed, abutting vertical concrete wall
panels, constructed in the ground using specialist plant, prior to the excavation of the
ground within the centre of the shaft.

Ground treatment and control of groundwater

3.5.25 For all methods of shaft construction, the control of groundwater will be required to enable
both safe excavation and sinking of the shaft and base slab construction.

10

The decision about whether secondary lining is required has not been made at the time of writing this report,
but this report has been based on the assumption that it is required, as that represents the worst case for
programme considerations.

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3.5.26 In some locations, ground treatment may be required to improve the natural state of the
ground in advance of shaft construction or tunnelling. The term ‘ground treatment’ covers
a variety of techniques to strengthen or stabilise the ground:

Injection of chemical or cementitious grouts to form blocks that can be excavated
without collapse. The method used will be dependent on the ground encountered.

Ground freezing, where injection pipes circulate brine or liquid nitrogen to freeze the
groundwater and produce a stable block that can be excavated. Ground freezing is
costly and takes a long time to implement.

Compressed air, where a section of tunnel at the face has the air pressure
increased, using air locks and compressors. The air pressure is increased to resist
the inflow of groundwater. This technique has several health and safety implications
and, with the 8.8m high face of the main tunnel, is unlikely to be completely
successful.

Dewatering to control the inflow of water into shafts and tunnel excavations, thus
ensuring excavation stability. This can take the form of either regional (widespread)
or localised dewatering methods, depending on the purpose and the extent of
pressure reduction required. These methods will include deep borehole wells or
localised drains, well points and injector wells.

Main tunnel shaft site requirements

Main tunnel shaft sites

3.5.27 Three types of shaft site may be needed to construct the main tunnel: drive shafts,
reception shafts and intermediate shafts.
3.5.28 The main tunnel will be driven from main drive shafts, which will be equipped to enable the
efficient operation of the tunnelling excavation and construction.
3.5.29 Reception shafts will be used to remove the TBM from the tunnel at the end of a drive.
Given a sufficient size of site, a shaft could be used for both drive and reception purposes.
3.5.30 Intermediate shafts can be used to gain access to the main tunnel bore during
construction, either to inspect and/or maintain the TBM or to provide access for secondary
lining construction (should a secondary lining be required).

Location of sites

3.5.31 The required number and distribution of sites for tunnel construction will be informed by the
following key considerations:

The Thames Tunnel Project is to be operational by 2020.

The TBM types must be appropriate to the geological conditions expected.

The risk of TBM breakdowns/servicing requirements, and their severity and
frequency, increases with the length of the drive.

The emergency egress of the construction workforce will become more difficult the
longer the length of the drive.
3.5.32 The final decision on the number of TBMs, and hence the number of associated drive shaft
sites, will be based on a balance between the type of TBM appropriate to the ground, the
available locations of main drive shafts, geology, programme, environment, amenity, health
and safety, risk and cost considerations.
3.5.33 Construction of CSO connection tunnels will, where possible, be constructed from main
shaft sites to reduce the space required for CSO sites. Where CSO connection tunnels are
driven from main tunnel shaft sites, the CSO drop shafts would comprise smaller reception
shaft sites. Excavated material from the CSO connection tunnel could also be handled at
the main tunnel shaft sites.

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Main tunnel drive shaft site requirements

3.5.34 The main tunnel drive shaft sites must provide for the following core and ancillary
construction activities for construction of the shaft and main tunnel:

Construction of 25m diameter shaft

Delivery of construction materials for shaft and tunnelling materials

Storage, treatment and removal of excavated material arising from the shaft
excavation and tunnel excavation

Material stockyard for tunnel segments and accessories, including loading/unloading
areas

Craneage and transfer of materials within the worksite and into and out of the tunnel
shaft access

Grout batching plant

River access comprising jetty/wharf facilities for loading/unloading materials for
marine transport

Workshops to maintain all the mechanical and electrical plant, and large stores for
spare parts; stockyard for rails, pipes, grease, foam, cable drums, and temporary
works items

Power supply installations with possible need for substation

Construction offices, welfare facilities and medical facilities

Parking for construction traffic

Incoming and outgoing goods and material marshalling area

Possible logistics hub area to service satellite sites.
3.5.35 In order to provide space for both core and ancillary activities, it is anticipated that main
tunnel drive shaft sites from which slurry TBMs will be driven will need to be approximately
20,000m2

, whereas sites hosting an EPB TBM will need approximately 18,000m2

, in line

with the material handling requirements. The above areas do not allow for a logistics hub.
3.5.36 The construction activities that follow tunnel excavation are less onerous with respect to
site spatial requirements. These will include tunnel secondary lining (if required), shaft
lining, buildings and surface works, and mechanical and electrical fit-out works.

Main tunnel reception shaft sites and intermediate shaft site requirements

3.5.37 Main tunnel reception shaft sites and intermediate shaft sites are not intended to be used
for driving the main tunnel. Apart from providing access and egress points to the tunnel,
the core activities to be undertaken from these shafts will be restricted to the construction
of the shaft itself, removal (at reception shaft sites) or access to (at intermediate shaft
sites) the TBMs, secondary lining (if required) and mechanical and electrical fit-out
activities.
3.5.38 It is estimated that the areas required for both reception or intermediate shaft sites will
range from 5,000m2

for sites with shafts constructed into the London Clay to 7,500m2

, if

deep diaphragm walling is proposed for shaft construction into Chalk.

Construction logistics

3.5.39 For the purposes of this Engineering Options Report, the following logistical needs have
been considered:

The ability to provide efficient site layouts

Logistics hubs

Critical services: Power and water

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Transport of materials and equipment

Main tunnel segment fabrication and supply.

Site layouts for logistics

3.5.40 The layouts of individual sites for the logistics purposes will depend upon the specific site
use and local constraints. The Site Selection Background Technical Paper indicates
typical layouts for the different types of sites.

Logistics hubs

3.5.41 The supply and servicing of the smaller CSO sites could be carried out as satellites to the
main tunnel drive shaft sites. These drive shaft sites may therefore require an allowance
for a logistics hub area for facilities to service the satellite sites.

Critical services: Power and water

3.5.42 The temporary power supply requirements for construction sites typically varies from
0.5MVA to 2MVA for the smaller CSO sites, and up to 11MVA to 14MVA for the large main
drive shaft sites serving a single TBM.
3.5.43 The number and potential spread of sites for main tunnel drives is such that for the majority
of areas, it is likely that insufficient capacity exists, or will be available from EDF Energy at
the time construction commences. Therefore, power supply improvement works would be
required.
3.5.44 Discussions with EDF Energy have established that it would be prudent to plan for the
early procurement of power supplies for the main drive sites. It is likely that power supply
improvement works would be required because it is considered that there will be
insufficient capacity to accommodate this project’s requirements. Drive shaft sites should
therefore be planned to accommodate new substation installations, for which an area of at
least 60m x 20m is required.

Transport of materials and equipment

3.5.45 Construction of the shafts and tunnel works would require a wide variety of materials and
equipment to be transported to and from the working sites.
3.5.46 Excavated material will need to be taken away from the drive shaft sites and a wide variety
of materials would need to be delivered, particularly the concrete segments for the main
tunnel lining. Other logistical activities will include workforce arrival/departure, equipment
deliveries/return, consumables and, for the drive shaft sites, the delivery of the large TBM
components.
3.5.47 Due to the large volume of materials to be transported in and out of the main tunnel drive
shaft sites, marine transport is the preferred option in order to minimise disruption to the
surrounding communities. However, barge operation will only be practical in the following
circumstances:

Material can easily be conveyed between worksite and river

Barge facilities can be provided within the river (jetty/wharfage)

Barge movements can satisfy the logistics supply needs

Barge operations do not interfere with navigation or with other river users to an
unacceptable degree.
3.5.48 The practicality of rail transportation will depend on both the proximity of the main sites to
suitable rail sidings and the local network’s capacity for freight movements.
3.5.49 It is expected that some deliveries would be need to be transported by road, even if barge
and/or rail transport facilities were available. Any necessary highway routes will need to be

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identified as part of the project development. Major deliveries/removals will be subject to
specific movement restrictions and conditions imposed by police and traffic authorities.
3.5.50 For the majority of the CSO sites, it is envisaged that the primary mode of transport will be
by road.

Main tunnel segment fabrication and supply

3.5.51 The supply of tunnel lining segments to the individual drive shaft site locations will depend
upon their final location and the location of the potential fabrication facility or facilities.
3.5.52 It is considered that the supply of these could either be by road or river, while river
transport would be preferred where practical and economic.

Excavated material handling and disposal

Material type and handling

3.5.53 The main excavated material types will be London Clay, Lambeth Group, Thanet Sands
Formation and Chalk. The overall route geology dictates where these are encountered.
3.5.54 The type of material and TBM choice will dictate the material handling and treatment
requirements; the excavated material consistency will vary from relatively dry London Clay
to Chalk slurry.
3.5.55 For the purposes of site planning, an allowance has been made for onsite storage of
excavated material equating to five days’ production. This allows for issues relating to
maintenance, plant breakdown and risks to barge operations on the River Thames.

Quantities and programme requirements

3.5.56 The total quantity of excavated material for all tunnels and shafts is anticipated to be in the
region of 2.5 to 3 million m3

(in situ quantity). This will vary, depending on the tunnel

alignment and connections.
3.5.57 The quantity of excavated material arising per drive at main tunnel drive shaft sites will be
approximately 300,000m3

to 500,000m3

, assuming a tunnel length of between 5km to 8km.
3.5.58 Where two drives are carried out from the same site location, this will increase the capacity
required if these are to be carried out simultaneously.
3.5.59 The tunnelling advance rates dictate the requirements for material removal. For the
purposes of preliminary planning, a rate of 2,000m3

to 4,000m3

per day from a site is

assumed, depending on TBM type and ground conditions.

Marine transport

3.5.60 The feasibility and use of marine transport for the removal of excavated material from
potential main tunnel drive shaft sites along the river is dependent on location.
3.5.61 Operations in the upper reaches of the River Thames beyond Hammersmith Bridge are
considered to be unworkable, due to the restrictions of bridge height, tidal range and width
of the navigable channel. These would impose constraints to barges that would reduce
substantially the quantity and rate of material that can be removed, making the viability of
solely marine transport in these areas unacceptable.
3.5.62 The operations between Putney Bridge and Hammersmith Bridge are considered to be
challenging, especially when servicing the peak tunnelling rates. However, sites along this
length of the Thames could be accessed and serviced but would require careful planning
to mitigate the problems associated with navigational constraints.
3.5.63 Downstream of Putney Bridge, there are fewer navigational constraints and, as such, it is
possible to use reduced numbers of larger size barges on the lower reaches of the
Thames to the east. Hence, only 350t barges can be used around Putney Bridge, 1,000t

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barges can be used in the vicinity of Battersea Power Station and 1,500t barges can be
used from Greenwich to Beckton.

In-river facilities

3.5.64 Jetty/wharf structures and their location with respect to the navigational channel, together
with associated dredging of the river for access purposes, will be site specific. Each main
tunnel drive shaft site not having substantial jetty or deep water wharf facilities is likely to
require a bespoke solution with specific consents from the Port of London Authority (PLA)
and the EA.
3.5.65 The above issues, with respect to in-river facilities, are more onerous on the upper reaches
of the river. Thus, beyond Hammersmith Bridge – and to a lesser extent beyond Putney
Bridge – the scale of facilities for barges is likely to impinge greatly on the existing river and
its users, leading to difficulties in obtaining the required consents.
3.5.66 Particular risks to in-river facilities and barge movements relate to other river users and the
need to obtain a marine risk assessment for operations. As such, it is noted that in the
upper reaches of the river beyond Putney Bridge, the presence of recreational users, such
as rowers and small boats, presents a major hazard and risk to be considered when
evaluating sites.

Disposal of material

3.5.67 The total quantity of excavated material to be disposed of for the Thames Tunnel Project is
in the region of 2.5 to 3 million m3

(in situ quantity). The methods of treatment, transport
and disposal are dependent upon the nature and consistency of the excavated material
and requirements for final disposal.
3.5.68 The overall policy is to favour marine transport of excavated material along the River
Thames, where practicable.
3.5.69 The details of potential disposal sites are not discussed or considered in this report. These
will be covered by the project ‘Waste Management Strategy’, forming part of the future
Environmental Impact Assessment.

CSO connection to the main tunnel

3.5.70 Where the CSO connection tunnels are directly connected to the main tunnel, it has been
assumed that the internal diameter will be no greater than 3m and at an angle of about 70
degrees to the main tunnel, unless there are overriding technical considerations, which
mean that this cannot be achieved. The limitation on diameter is due to construction
constraints and the need to maintain structural stability of the main tunnel lining.
3.5.71 The CSO connections to the main tunnel are to be grouped into five generic options/types.
These are outlined in greater detail in Section 4.

Connection with Beckton STW or Lee Tunnel

3.5.72 The main tunnel can either connect with the Lee Tunnel at Beckton STW or Abbey Mills
PSs, depending on the main tunnel alignment. The details of these connections are
outlined below.

Beckton STW connection (for the River Thames and Rotherhithe routes)

3.5.73 For the River Thames and Rotherhithe routes, the main tunnel would connect to the Lee
Tunnel at the proposed overflow shaft at Beckton STW. The overflow shaft will be
completed as part of the Lee Tunnel prior to the Thames Tunnel Project. The connection
will need to provide a smooth hydraulic path for flows in both directions, to allow both
tunnels to overflow to the River Thames when required, and for the construction of the
connection to minimise the effect on the Lee Tunnel operations.

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3.5.74 It is planned that the Lee Tunnel overflow shaft will make provision for the connection by
incorporating a tunnel eye in the shaft wall. The Thames Tunnel Project will include a shaft
approximately 30m to one side of the Lee Tunnel overflow shaft, either to launch or receive
the main tunnel TBM. The two shafts will be connected by a short 7.2m internal diameter
tunnel.

Abbey Mills connection (for the Abbey Mills route)

3.5.75 For the Abbey Mills route, the main tunnel will connect to the Lee Tunnel at Abbey Mills.
The proposed arrangement is for the main tunnel to connect at or close to the Lee Tunnel
‘Shaft F’ (proposed Lee Tunnel shaft to be located at Abbey Mills PSs). The connection
will need to provide a smooth hydraulic confluence to allow flows in both directions, and for
the construction of the connection to minimise the effect on the Lee Tunnel operations.
3.5.76 Two connection arrangements are considered feasible, although other arrangements may
be considered as the design develops:

The main tunnel connects directly into Shaft F. The Lee Tunnel Shaft F will
incorporate a tunnel eye in the shaft wall for the connection.

A shaft approximately 50m to one side of the Lee Tunnel Shaft F will be constructed,
either to launch or receive the main tunnel TBM. The Lee Tunnel will be enlarged
over a short length to form a connection chamber and the Lee Tunnel and the main
tunnel will be connected by a short tunnel.

Third-party infrastructure impact

3.5.77 The nature of operations involved in construction of the main tunnel and associated shafts
has the potential to cause ground movements that could affect existing third-party
infrastructure and buildings. The horizontal and vertical alignment of the main tunnel shaft
locations and construction methodologies will be selected so that the impact on third-party
infrastructure due to settlement will be avoided or minimised, as far as reasonably
practicable.
3.5.78 Searches of historical and other records have revealed wells located within the alignment
corridor, some of which are operational abstraction wells. The tunnel alignment will,
wherever possible, avoid any adverse affect on these wells.
3.5.79 Searches have revealed, in addition to road and underground rail transport tunnels, a
number of existing deep level service tunnels, including National Grid’s Beverley Brook
tunnel and a number of BT Openreach tunnels. In addition to these, the planned National
Grid ‘Wimbledon to Kensal Green’ tunnel is also noted. The alignment of the main tunnel
will avoid these assets, with acceptable clearances.

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