Participation in the UK's Longest Tunnel

Monday, June 14th, 2021

Anglo American is constructing Woodsmith Mine - south of Whitby, North Yorkshire – to extract polyhalite. The unique, multi-nutrient fertiliser will be transported through a tunnel system to a materials handling facility and harbour in Teesside. A Tunnel Boring Machine operated by Strabag has already completed 14 kilometres of the 37 kilometres, 4.90 metres internal diameter segmental lined tunnel. Upon completion this will be the longest tunnel in the UK.

Dr. Sauer & Partners provides technical support to Anglo American for the designs of segmental tunnel lining, sprayed concrete tunnel lining and shafts. The majority of this work is carried out remotely from our office in London.

In addition, a small team has recently commenced an on-site quality audit of the already built segmental tunnel lining. As part of this task our team attends walks of the 14 kilometres of tunnel with the client and contractor to inspect the lining and auditing production quality in both the segment factory and on the TBM.

Around four kilometres behind the current tunnel face Strabag is sinking the 3.2 metres internal diameter Lockwood Beck shaft using a blind boring method. This type of shaft sinking is fairly new in the UK and Dr. Sauer & Partners is excited to be able to observe the process. The Lockwood Beck shaft will be used for services, emergency access and egress, and will be connected to the segmental lined tunnel via a sprayed concrete lined adit.

MTS Segmental Lined Tunnel Inspection

MTS Segmental Lined Tunnel Train

MTS Segmental Lined Tunnel - Wilton Portal from inside

Wilton MTS Tunnel Ramp

Dr. Sauer & Partners' Sebastian Kumpfmueller

Wilton Segmental Storage Yard