July 26th 2012
Workers have reached the temporary bottom of the two huge launch shafts at Crossrail’s major tunnelling site in east London, ahead of tunnelling between Docklands and central London.
The larger of the two shafts is 30 metres in diameter and will be 44 metres deep when completed.
Construction has now commenced on two mined tunnels that will connect the two shafts.
Assembly of Crossrail’s third tunnel boring machine (TBM), Elizabeth, is now well underway.
The large blue cutterhead was installed earlier this week with the TBM now visible from the Docklands Light Railway.
During the coming months, the 150-metre machine will be fully assembled and tested before being lowered in sections into the two shafts.
Crossrail’s first TBM, Phyllis, is now 500 metres into construction of the first section of tunnel between Royal Oak and Farringdon.
More than 250 people are now working at the Limmo Peninsula site, with that number expected to peak at around 500 people at the height of construction.
Crossrail’s eastern tunnels will run for 5.16 miles (8.3km) from Docklands to Farringdon where they will join with the western tunnels from Paddington.
Crossrail’s eastern tunnels project manager, Peter Main, said: “We are now gearing up for the start of Crossrail tunnelling in east London. Work to construct two large launch shafts is now complete with assembly of the first of our tunnel boring machines now well underway.
“We understand how critical it is to limit the impact of Crossrail’s construction on local communities and have planned to transport the excavated material from the eastern tunnels by boat from Instone Wharf, removing the need for more than 30,000 lorry journeys in east London.
“We will also deliver 120,000 concrete tunnel segments by boat from Chatham Dockyard to further reduce our local impact.”