Thames Tideway


The Thames Tideway Tunnel is London’s new ‘super-sewer’ designed to bolster the already stretched existing sewerage system, by intercepting waste that would otherwise overflow into the Thames. The original London sewers opened by Edward Prince of Wales in 1865, and designed by Joseph Bazalgette, were built in to the Thames flood defence walls and also contain a large service subway. The service subway between Victoria and Blackfriars contains 2no. 36” gas mains.

Our approach to this job during the initial due diligence and VE phase resulted in reduction of the core wall and typical slab thicknesses. We also conducted an in-depth study of the dynamic performance of the building and its piled foundation under different load conditions to satisfy both strength and occupant comfort criteria.

The new 7.2m diameter sewer tunnel will be bored using tunnel boring machines which will cause ground movement as they pass. The ground movement analysis has found that whilst these ground movements will be acceptable for most in and on ground structures – including the original brick sewers in the embankment – aging gas main pipes fixed in to the service subway are at risk, and must be diverted.

Key Technical Challenges:
The key technical challenge is how to divert the gas mains embedded within the existing Thames flood defence walls, without compromising the walls that defend London against the daily tidal rise and fall of the River Thames. Robert Bird Group have solved this problem through a series of carefully sequenced permanent works structures designed to act in the temporary condition, establishing stakeholder support and buy-in on behalf of FLO.

Project Value:
£4.2 billion GBP
Year Completed:
Due 2023

Robert Bird Group Services:
Construction Engineering

Additional Information

Additional information is available for you to view regarding services and sectors RBG provide.


Robert Bird Group provide outstanding innovative and buildable structural design solutions in all sectors across the globe.


Robert Bird Group’s Civil Engineers provide engineering design services from concept and planning through detailed design on to construction and maintenance, with the potential for ongoing management and advice for the operating life of a project.

Energy and Resources

Using the sun, water, wind, earth, or our waste, to meet our energy needs is an obvious choice to addressing finite non-renewable resources and their subsequent environmental impacts.

Related Projects

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search