A 15-tonne tunnel-boring machine (TBM) was officially named today (Monday 18 February) at a ceremony to mark the start of work on the final phase of a £22million flood scheme.
The machine, which is 26ft long when fully assembled with a 6ft diameter digging head, will be used to excavate the northern section of an underground flood water culvert as part of the Anlaby and East Ella Flood Alleviation Scheme (AEEFAS).
Pupils from Hull Collegiate School, in Anlaby, which is near to the site of the work, were asked to suggest names for the impressive tunnelling machine. The winning name, ‘Boring Betty’, was revealed at the work site off Tranby Lane.
Giving tunnelling machines a name is part of the custom dating back to the earliest mining traditions.
This will be the second tunnel-boring machine to be used on the project, following the hard work already accomplished by the West Ella Worm.
The West Ella Worm was named and launched by the children of Springhead Primary School in July last year, and since then it has diligently cut though tonnes of chalk rock, installing nearly half a kilometre of tunnel.
The two machines will now work together to complete the 1.5km pipeline in order to provide badly needed flood alleviation for the area.
Work began on AEEFAS in July 2017 and will see the creation of a huge water storage lagoon linked by a series of flood water channels and drainage pipes between West Ella and Anlaby. Work is due to be completed by early 2020.
The scheme has been designed to reduce the risk of flooding to more than 4,000 homes and more than 70 businesses in the Anlaby, East Ella and Hessle areas, which were badly affected during the devastating floods of June 2007.
The three-year scheme is being delivered by East Riding of Yorkshire Council in partnership with Hull City Council and the Environment Agency.
The council successfully secured funding for the scheme through the Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) administered by the Environment Agency, and Local Growth Fund (LGF) through the Humber Growth Deal by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.
The partners were joined by representatives from contractors NMCM Plc (formerly North Midland Construction Plc) and sub-contractors Active Tunnelling Limited at Monday’s event.
Operated by Active Tunnelling Limited, the tunnel-boring machine is split into three sections and is operated by a driver sitting in the front section, behind the excavating head.
It will soon be heading down a launch pit to begin work on the storm water tunnel.
Councillor Symon Fraser, portfolio holder for strategic asset management, housing and environment at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “This is another impressive piece of machinery which will play an important role in linking our flood scheme together and I’m really pleased to see the scheme moving along well.”
Chris Davis, frameworks manager for NMCN Plc, said: “This is an extensive and important project, one that when complete will better protect local residents and businesses from the often-devastating effects of flooding.”
The AEEFAS scheme is being carried out in three phases:
Phase one began in July 2017 with improvements being made to the existing Western Drain, which runs along Beverley Road, through Kirk Ella and Anlaby, and three nearby culverts to increase their capacity.
A new culvert was also built underneath Beverley Road to allow the new flood water channel to carry flood water to the existing lagoon at the bottom end of Beverley Road.
The work on phase one was carried out by local contractors PBS Construction (NE) Ltd.
Work began in February 2018 on phase two, which involves the construction of a new flood water storage lagoon on the site of the former Sydney Smith School off First Lane, Anlaby.
The lagoon is designed to hold back up to 130,000 cubic metres of water in the event of a flood – the same amount of water it would take to fill 52 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The work also includes the building of an 800m long flood water channel, a new outfall structure and the expansion of an existing lagoon.
As part of the project there are plans to create open space for recreation and leisure on the First Lane site, although this is subject to planning permission.
The work on phase two is being undertaken by contractors COLAS –SIAC Ltd alongside local sub-contractors Humberside Excavations.
The final phase of the project includes the construction of a flood flow inlet structure at Kerry Pit, near West Ella Valley, and a 1.8-metre-wide tunnelled underground storm culvert, to link with the watercourses connecting to the lagoon off First Lane.
Included in the watercourses are structures designed to slow down and control the flow of flood water.
Work on phase three is being carried out by contractors NMCN Plc and sub-contractors Active Tunnelling Ltd.
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