HS2 Ltd has unveiled the first images of the launch site for the tunnel boring machine that will dig the 1-mile twin bore tunnel under the Long Itchington Wood east of Royal Lemington Spa and southeast of Birmingham.
HS2 Long Itchington Wood tunnel portal
© HS2 Ltd
The launch site is managed by the BBV Joint Venture (Balfour Beatty Group and VINCI Construction). Current work on the site, which measures 1 square kilometre, includes large and deep excavation. 250,000 cubic metres of material are being excavated in layers before being deposited locally to create the embankments for the line.
The tunnel boring machine that will dig this tunnel is being manufactured by German tunnelling specialist Herrenknecht. It is due to be delivered to the site in Warwickshire in early 2021. It will begin tunnelling in summer 2021 and complete the job in mid-2022. The diameter of the tunnel will be 9–10 metres.
BBV will build two tunnels on this stretch of the route, this one and the Bromford Tunnel. This section will also have 100 bridges, 35 viaducts, 36 cuttings and 70 bridge structures.