Tunnelling work now fully under way in Three Brooks nature reserve

Photo of Wessex Water site compound near the 'duck pond'.

Work to build a new sewer pipe beneath the M4 motorway has reached an important milestone, with tunnel boring now fully under way at the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve in Bradley Stoke.

As part of its work to complete the final phase of the £15 million Frome Valley Relief Sewer scheme, Wessex Water is tunnelling beneath the motorway from a site adjacent to the ‘duck pond’, close to Juniper Way.

The sewer will provide additional capacity for new developments in the area, diverting wastewater flows from South Gloucestershire to the Bristol sewage treatment works in Avonmouth.

Project manager Mike Bryant said:

“Work is progressing well, with the M4 tunnel crossing works getting under way in the final week of July and due to last for approximately four months.”

The first sections of the Frome Valley Relief Sewer were laid in areas of North Bristol and Yate during the 1980s and 1990s.

Wessex Water is now constructing a 5km long, 1.8m diameter pipe that will run from Iron Acton, north of Frampton Cotterell, and then westwards to Bradley Stoke.

Mr Bryant added:

“We are currently sinking other shafts on the job, and we will be mobilising additional tunnel boring machines around the Winterbourne and Iron Acton areas in the coming months.”

“Open excavation in rock around Iron Acton is proving to be tough, but we are achieving the estimated outputs per day.”

“In September we will be crossing the River Frome, which has all been agreed with the Environment Agency and conservation groups.”

Wessex Water says it is taking painstaking care to protect the natural habitats and environment of wildlife in the Three Brooks nature reserve. A temporary footpath has been constructed and public access is being maintained at all times.

Photo: Site compound near the ‘duck pond’ in the nature reserve.

Video of the tunnel boring work: From Valley Scheme (YouTube)

For more information about the Frome Valley Relief Sewer scheme, visit www.wessexwater.co.uk/fromevalley

Source: Press release from Wessex Water

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