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TBM north east link

Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Piper will begin the second leg of its journey to dig and install Watercare’s Warkworth to Snells Beach wastewater pipeline.

The journey will begin at the new Snells Beach wastewater treatment plant, which is under construction. Over the next three to four months, the TBM will install 2km of the 5km pipeline.

Since completing its first journey three months ago, Piper has received new cutterheads, bearings and seals.

Watercare project manager Dirk Du Plessis said construction partner McConnell Dowell also used this time to transport equipment, thrusters, separation plant, and various support systems to the site where Piper will start the second leg of her journey.

“Doing this preliminary work before each of the legs helps to reduce the likelihood of breakdowns and delays from occurring while the pipeline is being tunnelled,” he said.

“The work she must do is extensive as she has cut and ground through various ground and soils while simultaneously pulling and installing the pipeline as she moves forward.”

While Piper undertakes the second leg of the journey, the project team will also be installing a twin 500mm-diameter high-density polyethylene pipe inside the steel casing pipe laid during the first track of Piper’s journey to reduce leaks and corrosion.

“The Warkworth to Snells pipeline remains on track to be completed early next year,” Du Plessis said.

“It’s one of four key infrastructure projects in our $300m+ investment programme underway to support growth and improve environmental outcomes in Auckland’s north-east region.”

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