The machine is lifted into place at Crankley Point
The machine is lifted into place at Crankley Point

A section of a 160-tonne tunnelling machine was lifted into place as part of work to improve Newark’s sewers system.

A round of applause marked the moment when the “Siege Breaker” machine was safely positioned at Crankley Point, on Tuesday afternoon.

Severn Trent is undertaking a £60m, four-year programme to improve the town’s ageing sewers. By completion, it is expected that more than 400 homes and businesses will have extra protection from sewer flooding.

Amid drizzly conditions, a team of workmen spent around 20 minutes ensuring the machine was secured correctly before it was carefully lifted off the back of a lorry and towards the start of the tunnel.

Those on the surface have been reassured they will not feel any vibrations caused by the Siege Breaker – a name picked to recognise the town’s Civil War history – as it makes its way to Millgate.

The entire machine used for the project weighs 160 tonnes and is 75 metres long.

Mr Nick Wallace, senior programme engineer for Severn Trent, said: “In terms of our projects, no machine comes bigger than this.

“We’re using a machine this large because smaller ones would have required us to use more shafts when doing the sewer work.

“It should move about 15-20 metres a day and, once finished, create a tunnel that is nearly three kilometres long and big enough to drive a Transit van down.”

In recognition of the machine’s name, representatives from the National Civil War Centre, including learning and participation manager Carol King, were invited to the event.

BNM Alliance is carrying out the work for Severn Trent.