Thames Tunnel – Phase 5

In March 2011 Soil Engineering, were instructed by Thames Water Utilities Limited (The Engineer and The Employer) to carry out a ground investigation at various locations on the River Thames between Hammersmith and Greenwich. It is proposed to construct a sewage tunnel from Hammersmith in the West, passing beneath central London, to Abbey Mills in the East. The focus of this phase of investigation was a number of potential shaft and jetty sites which will be required in order to construct the tunnel, and to transfer construction materials and spoil via the river.

Soil Engineering Solution
The investigation comprised the formation of boreholes to a maximum of 65m depth. These were formed using a combination of cable percussive and rotary coring techniques. Each position had to be cleared for Unexploded Ordnance prior to boring and drilling. The UXO survey formed part of a wider geophysics requirement of the site which included side scan sonar and downhole surveys.

The works were undertaken entirely over water from two jack up platforms. Each platform was equipped with full welfare facilities to enable working around the clock either 10/5 or 24/7 depending on local environmental restrictions and constraints such as:-

  • Section 61 Licences
  • National Heritage
  • Proximity to MI6
  • Port of London Authorities
  • Archaeological consents
  • Marine and maritime organisations

Soil Engineering Value
A series of tugs and a crane barge were used to remove and replace the jack up legs to allow movement under the 20 No. Thames bridges crossing the route. This operation required accurate planning to coincide with completion of the holes and the tides to minimise costs and maximise efficiency.

All intrusive works were carried out by Soil Engineering’s in house resources and drilling crews. Logging and sub sampling of recovered cores took place on oar the jack up, again maximising efficiently.

The site works were completed 1 week ahead of schedule.

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