Chipping Warden green tunnel, via HS2

HS2’s green tunnel progression meets a potential red light

HS2’s new innovative “green tunnel” in Northamptonshire appears to have hit a roadblock in it’s build, due to issue that have been discovered regarding its giant precast concrete segments. It is understood that there are currently urgent tests being conducted on the erected segments of the tunnel.

The 2.5km tunnel at Chipping Warden could potentially be demolished, depending on the full extent of its issues. The part-erected tunnel has been constructed using components from Stanton Precast in Ilkeston Derbyshire for main contractor EKFB – a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall.

The tunnel is projected to consist of more than five thousand segments of concrete upon its completion, with all 5,020 segments being reinforced with steel that could indicidually weigh up to 43 tonnes. These segments will then be covered by earth with trees, shrubs and hedgerows being planted around the infrastructure, in a bid to embed the structure in the existing environment.

Chipping Warden will act as one, in a series of planned green tunnels throughout the HS2 project, meaning that these potential issues must be resolved, not just for the future of this individual build, but for the stability of others moving forward.

Chipping Warden is one of a series of green tunnels planned on phase one of the HS2 project.

An HS2 spokesperson said:

 “Chipping Warden is the first of three green tunnels made of precast segments and it’s important that we take the time to get the quality assurance and installation process right.

“We have recently identified quality issues with some of the segments and we are currently conducting tests to determine whether remedial work is needed.

“No decision has been made yet and we are actively engaging with our supply chain partners to resolve the problem.”

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