Caroline eats her way under the city
As roads reopen in the city and Lancashire’s cycling sensation Bradley Wiggins celebrates his record-breaking gold medal win, this giant robotic mole (pictured) is crunching its way east towards Preston.
The huge machine is 26 metres beneath Penwortham Golf Club today and 3.5km along from the new Terminal Pumping Station in Penwortham heading towards Marsh Lane, in Preston city centre.
The £114 million project has already seen five miles of pipes and interceptor tunnels constructed across the city, which at times had caused considerable traffic problems for commuters.
The mole will take a further 12 months to create the water firms centrepiece storm water tunnel eventually fed by other tributaries stopping wastewater flowing into the River Ribble.
Caroline has already eaten her way through 16 metres of earth in the last 24 hours, that’s 117 cubic metres of harden compact soil or the equivalent of filling up ten transit vans.
As our picture shows, the tunnel size is so huge at 3.05 metres wide you can drive your 4x4 car through it.
Brian Edwards, project manager for United Utilities said: "This tunnel is very much the lynch-pin of the whole project.
"It is the biggest tunnel and rainwater from all the other tunnels will flow into it, before the water is pumped to Clifton Marsh wastewater treatment works.
"The public will not see any evidence of the tunnelling machine, until it eventually emerges at Marsh Lane, having travelled 3.5 kilometres.”
Meanwhile United Utilities bosses said a number of other flood elevation projects would be ongoing around Watery Lane area to prevent 25 proprieties from flooding during heavy storms.
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