Construction of the new 6.5km pipeline began in summer 2019 and is planned to finish by spring 2022. It will connect Bristol’s existing trunk sewer in Lawrence Weston to the Frome Valley relief sewer near Cribbs Causeway and will direct waste more efficiently around North Bristol to our water recycling centre in Avonmouth.
The majority of the sewer will be constructed by tunnelling underground using a tunnel boring machine, reducing the need to dig trenches. We will even be tunnelling underneath the M5 motorway and Network Rail’s Henbury Loop freight railway, but no one will feel our presence there.
We are working with contractors J. Murphy & Sons Ltd to construct the tunnel and lay the pipework.
The North Bristol relief sewer forms an essential part of our long-term sewerage strategy for the next 100 years.
Learn more about the project by watching this video and click the drop-down options below to find out relevant information for each area of North Bristol where we’ll be present.
Construction of a temporary site compound and tunnel entrance in the hillside below Oasis Academy Bank Leaze began in August 2019. The tunnel boring machine (TBM) was scheduled to launch from this site in March 2020. However, the launch was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The TBM was eventually launched in June 2020 and has now begun its journey northwards to construct the main section of relief sewer.
This site is now operating 24hrs a day as tunnelling is a continuous operation, however HGV movements and deliveries are restricted and will not be permitted between the hours of 7pm and 7am. There may be some noise disruption while this work is carried out, but every effort will be made to minimise this and complete the work as quickly as possible.
A smaller section of sewer to connect the main tunnel with the existing Bristol network is being constructed behind Saltmarsh Drive, through the playing fields of St Bede’s Catholic College and behind Attwood Drive. Construction of this section and reinstatement is expected to finish by autumn 2020.
Customers will notice a large increase in vehicle movements through Lawrence Weston as we receive material deliveries and remove construction waste. We will do everything we can to minimise traffic disruption and are coordinating our vehicle movements with local schools.
An additional connecting sewer is being constructed in Henbury through Crow Lane Open Space. The majority of this sewer will be installed using a ‘no-dig’ pipe jack technique to avoid open trenching.
An access track has been constructed and a series of compounds set up through the northern end of Crow Lane Open Space between Tormarton Crescent and the Hazel Brook river crossing to accommodate this work.
A large compound has also been established off Henbury Road. New pipework has been laid through our compound at the southern end of Crow Lane Open Space and the grounds of Henbury Court Primary Academy using a traditional trenching technique. Unfortunately, there was insufficient ground depth to use ‘no-dig’ techniques in this location. This compound currently sits idle as we will need to return to extract the pipe jacking rig from this location once construction is completed beneath Hazel Brook. Pipe jacking progress is slower than anticipated as our contractors have encountered some hard bands of rock.
Our site compound in the north of Crow Lane Open Space near Tormarton Crescent has been temporarily demobilised. At this location we have completed the construction of a 30m deep shaft, through which the tunnel boring machine will pass on its way from Lawrence Weston to Cribbs Causeway. Our contractors will return to this site compound in the winter of 2021, once the main tunnel is completed, to fit out the deep shaft with mechanical and electrical equipment. In the interim period while we are not present on site in this location, the shaft will be capped with a steel cover to make it safe.
Members of the public are still able to use Crow Lane Open Space during our work and we will ensure safe crossing points along our temporary access track are provided.
A new manhole chamber and connecting pipe will be needed in Catbrain Hill, so that we can connect the existing Catbrain sewer network to the new relief sewer via a deep shaft in the former Filton Airfield.
The manhole chamber and pipe will be located close to the entrance of the new Strongvox residential development. The pipe will be installed using trenchless techniques to minimise disruption and avoid excavation.
The new manhole chamber is being constructed in the road verge separating Catbrain Hill and Medlar Close. The 26-metre hedgerow in the verge has now been removed and the working area is secured with heras fencing, with an acoustic shield facing Medlar Close to help minimise noise disruption to residents.
The new manhole chamber has been excavated and the sewer will be installed using a ‘no-dig’ auger bore technique to avoid open trenching. Access will be maintained to properties on Catbrain Hill throughout the work and construction traffic will access the site via the former Filton Airfield.
Construction of the deep shaft in the former Filton Airfield began in February 2020 and is due to finish in Winter 2021. Construction of the new chamber and pipe in Catbrain Hill began in August 2020 and is anticipated to be complete in October 2020. The replanting of the hedgerow and construction of a new stone wall in Catbrain Hill will be completed in November 2020.
Our tunnel boring machine (TBM) was scheduled to complete its journey in the autumn of 2021 and will be taken out of the ground in a site compound on the golf course. However, due to the delay in the launch of the TBM following the Covid-19 pandemic, the anticipated arrival date may be delayed. The course will remain full open throughout our work.
The site compound will be constructed on the edge of the 15th fairway of the golf course, close to the 15th hole and the 17th tee.
There is an existing sewer pipe underneath the golf course, so we will be constructing a chamber which connects the existing sewer to the new relief sewer. This will all be carried out within the site compound.
To access our site compound, the track that runs through the middle of the 15th fairway will be temporarily widened for our construction vehicles. A banksman will manage vehicle movements through this road to ensure members can still play safely.
A new temporary footpath for players to access the 17th tee from the 16th hole is scheduled to be laid in October 2020 and the main construction work for the site compound is scheduled to begin in January 2021. We aim to finish the work and completely reinstate the course by December 2021, however, this will depend on when the TBM arrives.
Newt fencing is now erected around the site compound that will be in-situ throughout the work, this is to ensure Great Crested Newts (GCNs) and other reptiles can be safely collected and relocated to a safer location prior to the work commencing. We are also using our very own trained sniffer dog, Freya, who specialises in locating GCNs.
More information will soon be available for members in the golf club on how to safely play golf between the 15th to 17th holes.