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Video: Moment tunnel boring machine completes journey under the River Tees


Watch: A HUGE milestone for our 57km Project Pipeline: County Durham and Tees Valley team.

This is the moment that ‘Penelope’, the tunnel boring machine, broke through to the west shaft, completing its 220m journey under the River Tees.

The tunnelling took just under five weeks to complete, having started at the base of the 46 metre deep east shaft in April, reaching the 32 metre deep west shaft on Wednesday.

The machine will now be lifted out, using a special crane, with the team, comprising our client Northumbrian Water, Farrans Construction and specialists Joseph Gallagher Limited, set to make a start on the next phase.

This will include sealing work before twin water mains are installed horizontally through the tunnel. Putting two mains through the tunnel adds resilience to this £155m investment, ensuring a back-up is readily available in case of any problems.

The pipeline will connect Lartington Water Treatment Works with around 200,000 of our customers across the south of County Durham and across into Teesside.

Find out more about this project here.