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East London Line - Brunel Thames Tunnel Refurbishment

Design of tunnel refurbishment including waterproofing; construction supervision
Estimated cost: Commencement:
August 27, 1995
Completion date:
October 19, 1997
30 The South Colonnade
E14 5E4
United Kingdom
Technical data:

Twin arch tunnel, 375 m (1230 ft) in length, with cross passages every 5.5 m (18 ft).

Geology description:

The tunnel is covered by the Thames river bed sediments, water saturated silt, clay and sand or a suspension thereof and even partially exposed to the river water.

Bid cost: Final cost:
£21 million GBP
Service areas:

The brick lined tunnel constructed by Mark Brunel between 1825 and 1841 was the first to be bored underwater using a shield and comprised a twin arch tunnel, 375m in length, with cross passages every 5.5m. The new lining has been designed to minimise the removal of existing structural brickwork and has a similar shape with cross passages to match the original tunnel. The reinforced concrete/shotcrete lining includes steel fibres to increase the strength and durability of the lining. A waterproof membrane has been installed around both tunnels and the cross passages between the structural brickwork and the new concrete lining.

Tunnel after Rehabilitation
Formwork and waterproofing
Old Engraving
Cross Section of refurbished Tunnel (left), original Tunnel (right)
Tunnel Portal during Construction
Partially completed Tunnel showing the structural Brick Masonry
Completed Tunnel and Cross Passage Linings prior to Installation of the Services and Track Works
Early Construction Stage - Installation of the Tunnel Invert Waterproofing System
Installation of the Tunnel Invert and Track Slab Reinforcement
Preparing Tunnel Roof for Waterproofing System
Steel Archs Tunnel Support
Final Cast-in-Place Lining Process
Before Rehabilitation - Cross Passages with the architecutal Features partially eroded away
Partially finished Final Lining
After Rehabilitation - The architectural Features shown were cast-in-place as Part of the Tunnel Final Lining
Reinforcement and Waterproofing at the Invert
Tunnel before Rehabilitation
Cross Passage before Rehabilitation
Cross Section
Inner Lining and Water Proofing