U.K.’s Lee Tunnel Wins Global Best Project Award


Prince Charles with two of Thames Water’s apprentices visited the Lee Tunnel site in March 2015. (Photo credit: Thames Water)

Thames Water’s Lee Tunnel received top honors as the overall 2016 Global Project of the Year by Engineering News-Record (ENR).

To select the winners of the Global Best Projects Awards, industry veterans considered projects in many markets, examining qualifying criteria such as safety performance, innovation, global collaboration, design and construction quality. The project won additional distinction as the Best Water/Wastewater Project of 2016.

Thames Water has received much recognition for its Lee Tunnel, and we are honored to add ENR‘s global industry award to its list of distinctions. This project is transforming London’s aging wastewater infrastructure and providing exceptional value for Thames Water’s customers,” said Peter Nicol, CH2M Global Business Group President.

RELATED: Lee Tunnel Receives ICE Award

CH2M has served as manager of this historic public works initiative since 2008. Part of the £5 billion ($6.1 billion US) London Thames Tideway Tunnel Programme, the 6.9-km long, 7.2-m internal diameter, deep sewer tunnel has driven major industry leading innovations in design and construction. In addition to developing the Lee Tunnel, the project also involves construction of the 32-km long Thames Tideway Tunnel, which will reduce wastewater overflows for a cleaner, healthier River Thames.

The deepest tunnel ever built in the British capital, the Lee Tunnel comprises the first phase of the biggest upgrade to London’s sewerage system since Victorian times, a key part of Thames Water’s bid to clean up the iconic River Thames. The four-mile tunnel, which runs beneath the London Borough of Newham from Abbey Mills Pumping Station to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works, reduces untreated discharges to the River Thames by 40 percent. The Lee Tunnel will serve as the first of two needed to facilitate treatment of 39 million cubic meters of sewage per year from London’s overstressed Victorian sewers, which fill to capacity after rainfall.

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TBM ‘Busy Lizzie’ was used to dig the 4-mile Lee Tunnel beneath Newham in east London.

Beyond the ENR Global Project of the Year award, the Lee Tunnel also earned the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Greatest Contribution to London Award, one of London’s highest engineering awards for raising the bar on innovation, health and safety, community benefit, construction and design. This was the second time the project received this distinction, also earning ICE’s Greatest Contribution Award in 2012.

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Emergency & Carryover Storage Project, for which CH2M played a supporting role, also was honored as a runner up in the Water/Wastewater category. Projects will be recognized on October 11, 2016, at the ENR Global Best Projects Awards Dinner in New York City.

Another tunnel project recognized was the Eurasia Tunnel, which was honored in the Bridge/Tunnel Category. The Eurasia Tunnel is a 3.4-mile long tunnel under the Bosphorus in Istanbul, linking the European and Asian sides of the city.

RELATED: Historic Bosphorus Road Tunnel Project Holes Through


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