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Tunnelling works complete on NI Water’s £7.8m wastewater upgrade at Meadow Lane

TBM is craned off-site

The tunnelling works associated with laying 620m of new large diameter sewer under Meadow Lane in Portadown has been completed by NI Water’s contractor, BSG.

The 25-tonne Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) broke through to the new stormwater storage tank last week to complete this significant element of work.

The new 1500mm diameter pipe, which is laid 8m below ground level, forms an important part of this major NI Water investment to increase the capacity in the network.

Tunnelling methods were employed by NI Water and BSG to help reduce disruption on Meadow Lane and complete the installation of the new pipe in the quickest possible timescale – traditional open-cut methods would have taken around a year to complete.

Instead, open-cut methods – which require traffic management – are only being employed to tie into the existing network.

BSG have commence the second connection on Meadow Lane.

The new infrastructure being installed and constructed will provide increased capacity in the network as well as first-time stormwater storage to support local development and economic growth and provide environmental protection in the area.

The project will facilitate the closure of five storm overflows on the network which will improve the water quality in the River Bann.

On site to see the TBM breaking through was NI Water’s Director of Infrastructure Delivery, Tzvetelina Bogoina, who commented: “I was delighted to see the completion of the tunnelling works in relation to the extensive Meadow Lane wastewater upgrade.

“This has been a challenging element of the project and only made possible by the support of local businesses and council who accommodated tunnelling pits within their land ownership.

“NI Water is grateful to these landowners as well as local businesses and the wider public for their ongoing patience as we deliver this important project to protect the environment and support growth in the area.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the project team from McAdam and BSG, as well as their subcontractors from B&W Tunnelling, for their unfaltering efforts to complete this major element of work.”

Reinstatement of the tunnelling pits at Meadow Lane East Car Park, Tim Hortons and at Annagh Fields will be carried out once all the connections have been completed.

In addition to the pipelaying aspect, work is continuing apace on the new 20m diameter stormwater storage tank, which at 9m deep is capable of holding 1,500,000 litres of rain/storm water.

That’s the equivalent to the same volume as 18,750 household baths.

This tank forms a key part of the new wastewater pumping station and will help reduce the risk of out-of-sewer flooding in the area.

The new infrastructure being installed and constructed will support local development and economic growth and provide environmental protection in this part of Portadown.

The project is due to be fully completed by mid 2025.

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