Tunnelling machine to go beneath Newark’s streets for next part of Severn Trent’s £60 million project

Tuesday 3rd January 2017

It might not quite be The Mole from Thunderbirds but Severn Trent’s contract partner, the BNM Alliance, is bringing its own tunnelling machine to start boring holes for bigger and better sewer pipes as part of Severn Trent’s £60 million project to improve Newark’s waste and water network.

Work is due to start on Sleaford Road on Monday with the company preparing the way for its state-of-the-art remote-controlled tunnelling machine to start digging below the streets of Newark.

Severn Trent programme engineer Nick Wallace says: “We’re going to be tunnelling under Sleaford Road to allow us to install new, bigger sewer pipes for the area. This means we can remove waste water more quickly and, when all our work is complete, that’ll mean we can reduce the risk of flooding in this part of Newark.

“We’ve already started work by digging a shaft in the school field next to Queens Road that will allow us to put the tunnelling machine into the ground. The machine will then make its way along the road to pop out further down Sleaford Road before heading down onto Beacon Hill Road, all without the people of Newark knowing it’s there.”

“Safety is always a priority, so to keep our team and other road users safe, while we build more tunnel shafts, we’ll have to close parts of Sleaford Road and Beacon Hill Road,” said Nick. “But we’re also keen to make sure the roads are closed for the shortest time possible, so we’ll be using temporary covers on the shafts allowing us to open the roads when we’re waiting for the tunnel machine to make its way below the ground. We need to close both roads a number of times but will make sure that Sleaford Road and Beacon Hill are not closed at the same time to allow traffic to keep moving. In addition, where we can, we’re locating shafts away from roads to avoid the need for road closures.

“We’re really sorry if this causes any inconvenience but, by using these methods, we’re doing everything we can to minimise the amount of disruption caused, and let’s always remember that, ultimately, this work is designed to improve everyone’s sewers and so help safeguard Newark from sewer flooding for many years to come.”

This work is in advance of a much larger tunnel that Severn Trent Water will start to build later this year, which will run from Crankley Point in the north of the town, all the way to the southern end of Millgate.

Severn Trent’s project in Newark is one of the company’s biggest investments to date, with the work due to be completed in 2020.

For more information regarding the work and road closures, please visit or the project website