Preparation work on the “soft eyes” in the Canary Wharf station box has been completed and the excavation is ready to receive the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) Crossrail has said.
The four 7.6m diameter “soft eyes” in the piled walls will allow the two TBMs – Elizabeth and Victoria - to break into and out of the station box without damaging the cutter head. In these sections, the steel reinforcement within the piles is usually replaced with non-damaging glass fibre reinforcement.
Crossrail has said that the next stage of the work is to construct a temporary steel cradle to support the TBMs as the pass through the station box and work on these structures will start in February. Once the TBMS have passed through the station, construction work will start on the platforms and this is expected to get underway this summer.
Above ground work is already underway on the four storey retail development and the first two of eight escalators that will take passengers down to platform level have also been installed.
“The construction of Canary Wharf station is firmly on track and gives us an early glimpse of the world-class new stations, improved transport links and huge commercial development that Crossrail will deliver throughout London,” said Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme. “With the upper station levels continuing to take shape, we are focussing on getting the station box below ground ready for the breakthrough of the first tunnelling machine in the spring, one of the biggest milestones on the project so far.”