“Timmy the Tunneller” Arrives at £7 Million Flood Alleviation Project

A major Tunnelling Machine has arrived in Belfast, for use on a major £7million Flood Alleviation Project, which is well underway in the Ravenhill area of South Belfast. Geda Construction are the main contractor for this project, with AECOM providing design and Project Management Support.

The machine, which is over 2 metres in diameter and 2.5 metres long will tunnel below the busy Ravenhill Road and help reduce disruption during construction. The tunnel will extend 75 metres from the edge of Ormeau Park up Ravenhill Avenue. Once the tunnelling works are completed, the more traditional open cut method will be used to construct the remaining sewers and manholes.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon pictured with NI Water’s Director of Asset Delivery Paul Harper pictured at the Tunnelling Machine.

This essential infrastructure project involves the upgrade of existing and installation of new sewers along a section of Ravenhill Avenue and surrounding streets. It will increase the capacity of the sewerage system in this area of South Belfast and update the existing infrastructure, some of which dates back to the early 1900’s.

Work is taking place in phases, progressing along Ravenhill Avenue, Sunwich Street, Federation Street and Millar Street. The project team have worked well with the local community to minimise disruption, including employing the use of underground trenchless construction methods where appropriate.

Pictured here (l-r) are NI Water’s Director of Asset Delivery Paul Harper, John Coalter Geda Construction, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon, Sam Donaldson AECOM and NI Water’s Project Manager David McClean.

David McClean, NI Water Project Manager, said: “NI Water is delighted to welcome the Tunnelling Machine on this major Flood Alleviation Project and look forward to putting the machine into operation! We would also like to thank Downey House for the fantastic artwork and naming our machine “Timmy the Tunneller” and all the local schools for engaging with the project.”

Once complete, in early 2023, this major project will reduce the risk of out of sewer flooding in the area.