Construction of the new Thames Tideway Scheme is progressing at a healthy rate, as the Putney area welcomes new developments. Huge excavations were made to remove a ‘pipe jacking’ machine, used for excavating tunnels. This was done successfully and smoothly, with bridge closure necessary but not prolonged, causing minimal disruption to passers-by and public transport. 

Each year, the combined sewage overflow from underneath Putney Bridge spills 68,000m3 of raw sewage into the Thames, and the installation of a 134m tunnel in this area is designed to stop this by connecting the overflow point to the new sewer. 

The Tideway project was started with the intent of modernising London’s 150 year old sewer system built for a population half the current size. 

These improvements, at a cost of £4.9 billion should prove to be very worthwhile as they will lead to better sanitation and health, as well as a cleaner environment for wildlife to thrive in. The construction process has also had £54m invested in its ‘More by river’ scheme to reduce the amount of HGVs needed to transport material, instead using boats which have comparatively reduced CO2 outputs by 90%. 

The Putney Embankment foreshore updates have been designed to provide an ideal viewing platform space from which to watch the annual boat race. Restaurants and shops line the streets adjacent to the embankment, and whilst the view of the river from these is currently compromised, it is sure to be worth the wait for the days when a cleaner Thames can flow past. It is estimated that the Tideway Tunnel will be completed in 2024. 


Madeleine McClean