National Grid today announced it intends to start construction of a tunnel for the Humber Pipeline Replacement Project in early 2018, with a 160-meter tunnel boring machine expected to arrive next week. The company has awarded a £100m contract to build the tunnel to Skanska, PORR Bau GmbH and A. Hak.
Once assembled, the machine will commence a five kilometer, year-long journey under the Humber River to build a 3.65-meter diameter tunnel.
After the tunnel is finished, a new 42-inch diameter natural gas pipeline will be laid inside to replace an existing pipeline. The existing gas pipeline is laid in a trench just below the Humber River bed but is at risk of being exposed by shifting tides.
“We’ve been planning this for months and are very excited about the prospect of the delivery of the machine so that we can make a start on the tunnel,” Steve Ellison, Lead Project Manager for National Grid said. “We hope tunnelling will start early in the new year and we expect to see the machine emerge on the other side of the river around a year later.”