Work by Southern Water to build a 300m long tunnel under the streets of Shanklin to improve local bathing waters is progressing well.

Since September 2018, work has been taking place to improve sewers in the area of Arthur’s Hill with a view to improve the resilience and capacity of the sewerage network at times of heavy storms. The increased capacity is said to be essential in helping reduce the risk of releases to the sea and will also help protect homes from flooding.

Last month a 12m long tunnel boring machine was lowered into a specially built shaft at St Boniface Road and began tunnelling towards Wilton Park Road. Once the machine reaches Wilton Park Road it will be lifted out, transported back to St Boniface Road and then lowered down the shaft once again to begin tunnelling towards Hope Road.

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The efforts to build the 1.8m wide sewerage tunnel are progressing at around a rate of around 10 metres a day – 3 metres more than predicted by the engineering team.

The tunnel will have a life span of around 120 years and will increase capacity by some 750,000 litres, resulting in a 30-40% reduction in spills into the sea.

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