Tideway, the company building the super sewer under the Thames, has recently completed a key milestone with the excavation of its first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) launch shaft.

Works to begin construction of the walls of the shaft at Tideway’s Wandsworth site began in June last year, with excavation starting in late November.

At 60 metres deep, the crews dug through several layers, excavating 45,000m3 of spoil – which, according to the International Standard for Measuring Things, is roughly 400 routemaster buses. The spoil was removed along the river, by barge not bus, primarily to East Tilbury and also at Cliffe.

Preparations are now underway for the next phase of the project, which involves creating the lining of the launch tunnels, laying the groundwork for the TBMs to be lowered down later this year.

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