HS2 Begins Construction on Greatworth Tunnel

HS2 has begun work on assembling the project’s longest ‘green tunnel’ in Greatworth, West Northamptonshire.

This 1.5-mile tunnel is being built using a ‘cut and cover’ process that involves excavating a cutting, building the tunnel and burying it. Trees and hedgerows will then be planted on top of the structure to help it blend in with the rural landscape.

The tunnel structure will be comprised of more than five thousand giant concrete segments that will be made at a pre-cast factory in Derbyshire and assembled on-site by HS2’s main works contractor, EKFB.

Engineers at work on the first arch for the Greatworth green tunnel
Engineers at work on the first arch for the Greatworth green tunnel

Greatworth will be one of five ‘green tunnels’ built for phase one of the HS2 project. Construction on the first of these structures at Chipping Warden, Northamptonshire commenced last year.

EKFB’s Programme Director, Emmanuel Rossignol, said:

“To see the construction start on HS2’s second cut and cover tunnel in Northamptonshire is a proud milestone for the team. The design and construction approach of this tunnel is unique to the UK, and there are many benefits associated with this methodology, including a reduction in our carbon footprint, but it’s not been without its challenges along the way. Our expert teams are to thank for their dedication as we continue to advance the construction programme across the Chipping Warden and Greatworth green tunnels.”

The Greatworth Tunnel has been designed as an m-shaped double arch that will have separate halves for southbound and northbound trains.

Construction on the main structure is expected to take around two years.

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