Swept overboard

wp-1454401204898Yesterday a few of us from the Wireless Wednesday workshop visited the Minesweeper on Deptford Creek to meet with collective members and take a few photographs in advance of their fundraiser this weekend and Mazi workshops on the boat in Spring. T his coincided with a visit from three representatives of Thames Tideway to meet up with concerned residents of boats moored in the area, all seeking more information. wp-1454401249132There was a tentative yet friendly exchange and a good deal of information about the timetable and nature of work surfaced as a result.

Thames Tideway is a private company working with Thames Water to build the London super sewer network. Tideway is owned by a consortium of investors that comprises Allianz, Amber Infrastructure, Dalmore Capital and DIF. The construction site in the east end will be delivered by a joint venture of Costain Ltd., Vinci Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche. This contract is known as Tideway East, with work taking place from Bermondsey to Stratford. Here is a short film showing each of the construction sites

Groundwork for the main shaft at Greenwich Pumping station opposite Creekside Education Centre has already begun. The plan is to dig an 18m diameter shaft down to a depth of 65m for the tunnel. The ha’penny hatch pathway on the Greenwich side to Norman Road will be rerouted and then possibly closed during the work, despite appearances at the moment. Mined materials will be pumped across or under the existing pathway and railway line, into the Jewsons site for processing.

Material from related shafts and tunneling construction between here and Chambers Wharf, will also be extracted here to be loaded onto 100 trucks a day or more likely, river barges for removal. By August 2016, the sea wall at Jewsons requires reinforcement to enable installation of a mooring cradle, to support the 500 GT barges, leaving little space for existing moorings!

tideway-1Sometime before early 2017 a channel 0.5m (from lowest riverbed level) and 8m wide will be dredged at low tide to enable large barges access at high tide. Such huge earthworks could well destabilise the riverbed for any boats normally in contact with it most of the time. Once the dredged channel is ready, the ‘cradle’ is in place and processing plant for the mined materials is operational, then there will be at least two barges per day for further five years!

So, “are you all ready?”

A ‘Greenwich Pumping Station Community Liaison Working Group’ meeting was held in September 2015 at Creekside Education Trust but unfortunately no public were invited nor attended due to communication error! Further meetings are being planned so all are advised to attend and find out more about the scale and duration of the plans already underway. In the meantime neighborhood bloggers are busy tracking the situation, improving awareness of the complexity and compromise at the scale of such intensive civil engineering. Perhaps this is a good moment to invoke DNA the recently acknowledged Deptford Neighborhood Action group!

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