Scottish tunnelling project makes progress

A microtunnel boring machine (MTBM) has broken through as part of a Scottish Water project to improve water quality.

After completing the final section in the middle of a 1.6 km sewer under the streets of Paisley, Scotland, the state of the art MTBM has broken through in the town’s Saucelhill Park.

The project is being delivered for Scottish Water by contractors Amey, along with Donegan Civil Engineering.

The MTBM – named Tunnelling Tanya – is 1,500 mm in diameter and weighs 23 t.

The £17 million (US$21.5 million) project has been in construction since 2016 and also includes the installation of combined sewer overflows in the town centre.

During the construction, the machine installed 109 concrete pipes to form the tunnel.

The new stretch of sewer has a diameter of up to 1.5 m and was installed at depths of between 4 and 20 m.

On the final drive, 280 m in length, the machine removed 5,000 t of rock; an estimated 25,000 t was removed over the duration of the project.

“This is a great achievement for the team as it is obviously a key moment in the project and follows two and a half years of complex and painstaking work,” said Scottish Water Project Manager Brian Boland.

For more information visit the Scottish Water website.

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