THAMES WATER said this week that a busy Berkshire road blown apart by the rupture of a 2.5m diameter pumping tunnel could be shut for nine months while it investigates the cause of the explosion.
The 1.3km long tunnel carries water from the River Thames to the Queen Mother reservoir near Windsor. The burst blew a 7m wide hole in the B376 near Wraysbury and flooded local properties were flooded as water rushed in from the Thames and the reservoir, creating a jet that peaked at 4.5m high. The road, an arterial route for local traffic, has been shut since. Thames Water operates the tunnel and reservoir and this week said the road could be closed for the duration of their investigation into the failure. Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead highways engineers have proposed installing a temporary road service through local farmland, which runs around the hole and the pumping station.The borough is waiting for Thames Water to agree funding.