A state-of-the-art tunnelling machine called the “Wiggle Blaster” has blasted a 200-metre tunnel under Newark – as part of a £60m project to protect residents from sewers flooding.
The machine, launched last month by water company Severn Trent, is tunnelling to create 15 miles of new water and waste pipes in Newark.
More than 400 homes and business will have better protection from sewers flooding.
With a diameter of 2.1 metres, the Wiggle Blaster is the second-largest tunnelling machine which will be used in Newark.
It a week earlier than originally planned.
Tim Sawyer, from Severn Trent, said: “This is great news for the project, as it means we’re making time and able to start work putting in the bigger, better sewers that will protect our customers from flooding earlier than expected.”
“Thanks to the Wiggle Blaster we now have a 200-metre-long tunnel that’s been created underground, all without anyone knowing it’s there, minimising the number of roads we need to dig.”
Severn Trent is investing £60 million – its most expensive project in the East Midlands – to improve the water and waste services in Newark.
The work is expected to be completed by 2020.
The project’s largest tunnelling machine will launch next month, which will create a tunnel large enough for a transit van to drive down.
“It’s really exciting times for the project, as the tunnelling forms such a huge part of the project and we’re making great progress with it,” Tim added.
“We’re really looking forward to the people of Newark seeing the benefits of the work, and we’re really thankful for the support and patience we’ve been given as we work in the town.”
Contract partners BNM Alliance is carrying out the work on behalf of Severn Trent.
The improvements can been followed on the company’s website.