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Breakthrough for London cable tunnel project

UK Power Network’s London cable tunnel scheme reached another milestone yesterday when its 50t tunnel boring machine (TBM) broke through into a reception chamber 1.1km from the launch site with millimetres to spare.

The TBM was launched by main contractor Morgan Sindall from Whitechapel in May and will eventually bore a 2.6km tunnel that will terminate at Finsbury Market.

The £14M tunnel is being constructed through the London Clay at depths between 25 to 35m below ground. UK Power Networks has said the work is progressing at an average rate of 50m per week.

When completed next year, the 2.6m diameter tunnel will be lined with brackets supporting 23km of 132kV electricity cables, creating a connection between substations in the East End and the City. The current work is the second stage of work to create a 6.1km cable tunnel between New Cross and Finsbury Market.

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