Major Tunnelling Machine Arrives at £8m Flood Alleviation Project

    A “friendly giant” Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) over 10 feet in length has arrived in Belfast, for use on a major £8million Flood Alleviation Project; BSG Civil Engineering are the main contractor for this project, with Atkins providing design and Project Management Support.

    The work is to upgrade the sewerage infrastructure and substantially reduce the risk of out-of-sewer flooding in the Marguerite Park area of South Belfast, and pave the way for future works in the Sicily Park area.

    Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon and NI Water’s Mark Sefton mark the arrival of the Tunnel Boring Machine. Picture by Brian Morison

    Work on Phase one of this major infrastructure project is underway within the grounds of Musgrave Park& Musgrave Park Hospital, and the overall project will take up to two years to complete.

    The machine will help reduce disruption within Musgrave Park/ Musgrave Park Hospital and Malone College by tunnelling around 800m of the new sewer underground. It will also tunnel under the main Belfast to Dublin Railway line, avoiding the need for any closures. The tunnelled sections of sewer will be up to 8m below ground level, the equivalent height of 2 double decker buses.

    Mark Sefton, NI Water Project Manager, said: “The machine will remove approximately 4000 tonnes of soil, equivalent to 250 full lorry loads of earth from below the ground, while users of the park and hospital will be unaware of what is happening below their feet!

    Pictured here (L-R), are Sean O’Connor Atkins, Paul McSparran BSG Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon and NI Water’s Mark Sefton

    “Tunnelling will also significantly reduce excavation works, and avoid the use of 21,000 tonnes of new stone fill, saving around 24,000 litres of fuel in transportation.”

    The overall project involves constructing over 1.3km of new large diameter sewer from the ‘Grovelands’ area of Musgrave Park, through the park grounds, Musgrave Park Hospital and Malone College, crossing under the railway line and through an area of private land into Diamond Gardens/Marguerite Park and Donegal Park.