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Half Thames Tunnel sites face change

Half of the 22 work sites for the proposed £3.6bn Thames Tunnel mega-sewer may be changed or axed, it emerged this week.

Promoter Thames Water made the announcement as it published the full results of the first phase of consultation about the project.

The report says nine work sites are subject to reconsideration. Potential changes include making one site larger, making one smaller, and altering the routes of the main tunnel and a connection tunnel.

Thames Water announced last month that it was reconsidering the use of Barn Elms Playing Fields in west London and King’s Stairs Gardens in Bermondsey, taking the total to 11 sites under review (NCE 24 March).

The company said this week that a proposed work site at Greenwich Pumping Station could be larger than anticipated, after considering construction methods for a connection tunnel.

But it said an alteration to the main tunnel route could reduce the size of a work site at Hammersmith Pumping Station. The proposed tunnel route currently ends at Hammersmith Pumping Station, with a smaller connection tunnel continuing west to the Acton Storm Tanks combined sewer overflow (CSO). Extending the main tunnel to Acton would reduce the space needed at Hammersmith.

The proposed Butcher Row and Jews Row sites in east and south London respectively could be scrapped. Thames Water said “local in-sewer modifications” could be used to intercept the local CSOs, rather than connecting them directly to the main tunnel, although these would be subject to Environment Agency approval.

Similarly, at Druid Street in Bermondsey, modifications to the existing Shad Thames Pumping Station could control the local CSOs, meaning the proposed site would not be needed.

Other locations could be dropped or changed as Thames Water finds better locations or responds to changing circumstances.

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