Thames Tideway Central – Battersea

Rorcon supplied specialist labour to the two 7.2m ID segmentally lined tunnels underneath the Thames. TBMs, Millicent & Ursula, who after navigating difficult ground conditions and completing, safely, multiple compressed air cutter head interventions ended their journeys successfully.

The TBMs ‘Millicent’ named after Millicent Fawcett, an English suffragette who led Britain’s largest women’s rights association and ‘Ursula’ named after Audrey Ursula Smith, a British cryobiologist. Two outstanding women in history whose names now contribute to building 13km central section of the main tunnel for London’s Super Sewer.

Check out this clip from Tideway for an inside look in Millicent and Ursula’s journey:

COVID-19 presented itself in early 2020, but that didn’t get in the way of our fully committed team who navigated these difficulties and managed to complete the job safely and most importantly without major outbreak on site. A total of 6,974 concrete rings were required to line the 12.6km Central section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, excavated by two giant tunnelling machines from Tideway’s Kirtling Street site. As part of its drive, TBM Ursula excavated over a million tonnes of spoil, all of which was removed from site using barges on the Thames – preventing more than 250,000 HGV trips thus saving a whopping 4,938.4 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Viv Jones, Project Director for the central section, said: “The hard work from our teams on site and below ground has enabled us to safely continue tunnelling despite Covid – and continue work on this vital piece of infrastructure.”

The progress of this job is ongoing. Please follow our social accounts for updates on our progress.


Rorcon are providing Specialist personnel for excavation of  both Westbound and Eastbound TBM machines, for Thames Tideway Central Project

London – Ongoing