Publication Abstract

Proceedings-DFI/EFFC 11th International Conference on Piling and Deep Foundations, 2014, Stockholm, Sweden, (DFI)

Design and Construction of the Thames Water Lee Tunnel Shafts, London
Martin Stanley, David Hard, David Puller, Sivilay Sayavong and Julian Gatward, Bachy Soletanche Limited, United Kindgom

The Thames Water Tideway Tunnels programme involves the upgrade of London’s combined sewer and storm water system. The first section is the Lee Tunnel between the Beckton Sewage Treatment Works (STW) and the Abbey Mills Pumping Station. This will intercept the overflows currently discharging to the River Lee and has the capacity to store and transfer 350,000m3 of storm water and sewage. The project required 4 shafts and a 6.9km 7.2m diameter tunnel. The shafts are some of the largest ever constructed in the UK, with diaphragm walls up to 98m deep and 1800mm thick. As a result of the innovative methods of diaphragm wall design and construction adopted the 4 very large and deep shafts were able to be excavated and completed safely, with minimal water ingress and with extremely high quality. MVB, a joint venture of Morgan Sindall, Vinci Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche are delivering the £635m contract with Thames Water’s Project Management Team in a collaborative manner under an NEC contract. Mott MacDonald, Morgan Sindall UnPS & Bachy Soletanche are acting as designers. Some of the important advances in diaphragm walling made included: • Diaphragm wall design to both EC2 & EC7 taking into considering the assessment of chalk stiffness, high hoop stresses, large multiple openings and non-axisymmetric loadings. • Formation of shafts as a faceted circle from a series of overlapping panels, with primary panels up to 7.2m wide demanding concrete volumes up to 1300m3 be poured in one go. Overlapping secondary single bite panels cut into the grade C50/60 concrete. • Excavation of the full geological stratigraphy of London making bentonite management complex. • Panel verticality of 1:300 required over the full depth. The results achieved this and in many cases exceeded expectations with some panels coming in at up to 1 in 800 with the majority at 1 in 400 to 1 in 500. The project is also the first in the Soletanche Bachy Group to take data from the ultrasonic drilling monitor used to check the verticalty in electronic format in order to create 3D CAD as-built drawings. • Each diaphragm wall panel was reinforced over its full depth. Up to 18 separate pieces of reinforcing cage had to be installed in primary panels. Cages underwent a full range of temporary works designs to check that lifting, splicing and placing could all be undertaken safely. Fibreglass was used in the tunnel portals in the shafts to ease breakthroughs.

 article #1958; publication #100 (IC-2014)