Ground is prepared for tunnelling machine

Steel manhole covers and a crane have been brought into the compound at Palace Car Park, Bridlington.
Steel manhole covers and a crane have been brought into the compound at Palace Car Park, Bridlington.

CONTRACTORS are busy preparing the ground for a tunnelling machine which will start work in earnest on delivering a £40 million improvement to Bridlington’s bathing waters.

Morgan Sindall Grontmij, contractors for Yorkshire Water, are sinking a shaft from where they will begin to drive a tunnelling machine underground, from their compound at Palace car park.

The machine is set to arrive in the next few weeks and will be used to construct a new storm water tunnel - a crucial part of our £40 million bathing water improvement scheme for the town and will extend underground from Palace car park to the south promenade.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said: “The shaft at Palace car park will be around 13m deep in total.

“We’ve already excavated to a depth of 3-4m and we expect that it’ll take another three weeks to dig down to the full depth. We are currently excavating around 110 cubic metres of material every two days using specialised excavators.

“The crane which we have on site at the moment is essential for construction of the shaft. It helps us to construct each of the concrete rings which form the walls of the shaft and we’re using it to lower construction staff in and out of the shaft.

“On Monday people may have noticed increased activity on-site at Palace car park, we were installing steel manhole shutters and covers which have been cast with a concrete surround.”

The project will provide a new pumping station, sewer and outfall pipe which the company hopes will help Bridlington’s beaches hit strict new water quality guidelines set out by the European Union.

If anyone has any questions about the work, or would like to find out more they can visit the Yorkshire Water information centre at Springfield House - the old Toyota Garage at the corner of Springfield Avenue and Hilderthorpe Road.

This is where the construction team is based, and it is open as a facility for the public to visit and ask questions, on weekdays, outside of holidays, between 9am and 5pm.

At Palace car park the team have started to excavate the first tunnel shaft, from where a tunnelling machine - which will excavate space for a new sewer - will be launched from when it arrives in March or April next year.

South Marine Drive is already closed southbound from Horsforth Avenue to Belgrave Road until April 2014 while the works continue.