Tideway - Upgrading London’s sewerage system to clean up the River Thames and cope with the capital’s growing demands
A new “super sewer” for London, known as The Thames Tideway Project is now underway. It will be constructed by Tideway – privately financed by a consortium called Bazalgette Tunnel Limited, in conjunction with the delivery partner CH2M. The tunnel will not only improve the environment, ecology, public health, appearance and reputation of London, but it will also give a much-needed and immediate economic boost by creating thousands of skilled jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships. The project has a budget of £4.2 billion.
London’s current sewer system is more than 150 years old. It was designed to handle at its maximum capacity a population of one fifth of London’s present size. Following a cholera epidemic, Parliament de-camped to Oxford and commissioned Joseph Bazalgette to clean up the city. A key feature of this network was an overflow which would discharge into the river when capacity was reached. However, these overflows were not designed for regular use and last year over 40 million tonnes of raw sewage was discharged into the River Thames. Tideway is building the super sewer to tackle the problem of these overflows with the aim of managing London’s requirements for at least the next 100 years.
Large infrastructure projects with complex supply chains have demanding governance requirements. The more stakeholders there are, the more important it is to be able to confidently and accurately report and then be able to answer the difficult questions. As such, Tideway needs to be as confident as possible that the schedules
it receives from contractors and the schedules that Tideway then constructs using this received information are as realistic and robust as possible. For Tideway management a schedule is more than just a set of dates for when something is to be done. It is the logical embodiment of how the works will unfold and integrate. Interdependencies and consequences also have to be shown and be open to scrutiny. Tideway senior management recognise the importance of a robust, quality schedule to manage the project.