Sectors - Civil

Tideway East Section Barges Ahead

Earlier this month, London-based marine freight specialist Walsh started to remove more than a million tonnes of tunnel spoil arising from the Eastern leg of London’s super sewer scheme, Tideway.

The materials from the Thames Tideway’s eastern section, between Bermondsey and Stratford, are being moved down river to a pioneering new wildlife habitat creation scheme, which is being spearheaded by wet civil engineering company Land & Water.

Walsh is working in partnership with Land & Water, carrying out the major shift and restoration scheme for Eastern section joint venture (JV) delivery partners Costain, Vinci Construction, Grands Projets and Bachy Soltanche (CVB).

Throughout the next 14 months, chalk and clay from the Tideway sites at Chambers Wharf, Greenwich Pumping Station and King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore in Shadwell are being loaded onto Walsh’s river barges and sent to Land & Water’s restoration project at Rainham Marshes.

By using the river freight for the scheme, the companies are helping to reduce road congestion by keeping around 100,000 lorry movements off London’s roads as well as producing a fraction of the carbon dioxide and other emissions when compared to road haulage. The materials are helping create much-needed habitats for wildlife along the Thames Corridor.

Joe Gifford, Walsh Managing Director, said: “We’re extremely proud to be playing such an important role in the delivery of the Thames Tideway Tunnel. The Walsh marine business is uniquely positioned to move materials to and from major infrastructure schemes that support development and regeneration in London. The fact that we have such a huge capability to move freight by river means that we can add real value to major projects like Tideway, especially when spoil can be put to good use in land restoration elsewhere along the river.”

Tom Melhuish, Project Manager at Land & Water, said: “Having already received over 450,000 tonnes of material from the west section of Tideway, we are looking forward to supporting the tunnel drive from the east section. This will enable us to make significant progress with our restoration at Rainham, helping to create an oasis for wildlife. The Tideway project has highlighted not only how the River Thames can be used as a sustainable and reliable transport system but also shown the benefits of re-using waste to create substantial new habitats and foster biodiversity.”

To ensure successful delivery of the project, Walsh made major investments in its marine fleet worth almost £6 million, including the state-of-the-art Damen CS2010 pusher tug (SWS Endeavour) which went into service at the end of 2020 and the adaptable Damen Multi Cat 1908 (SWS Endurance) delivered in 2019. Along with the existing fleet and eight new barges, the new vessels ensure the Walsh fleet is the largest and most versatile of its kind on the Thames, operated by a highly skilled 25-strong crew.

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