Preston storm drain scheme up for engineering award

Posted on - 5th February, 2014 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, Business, Penwortham, Preston News
A view of a drain under Preston

A view of a drain under Preston

A project to build a 3.5km storm tunnel is up for an engineering award.


United Utilities have been digging up the area around Strand Road and Watery Lane for two and a half years as part of the £114m project.

The areas around the Ribble had been unable to cope with heavy rainfall, resulting in large amounts of storm water overflowing into the Ribble.

Now the water is being pumped to the Preston wastewater treatment works at Clifton Marsh.

Engineers have been working to create the storage tunnel 30m below ground.

The tunnel and shafts provide approximately 40,500 cubic metres of overall water storage.

The scheme is up for the Large Project Award at the North West Civil Engineering Awards.

A spokesman for the North West Institute of Civil Engineers said: “The project featured a range of technically innovative design and construction methods at every stage of the scheme, with many of the innovations employed here being adapted elsewhere for years to come.

“The purpose of the scheme was to reduce and then screen storm water discharges to the river and thus deliver significant environmental improvement to the Ribble Estuary in terms of water quality, habitat and amenity.

“Much of the work was undertaken within or near the floodplain and intertidal salt marshes along the Ribble Estuary, which are classified as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, requiring installation of significant mitigation measures to reduce the impact on the environment.”

The final stage of the project has now begun on Strand Road and Watery Lane with local residents pleased the end is now in sight.

Janet Clarke, project coordinator, said: “Before the project is officially completed by the end of February 2014, we always made it clear our engineers would need to return to Watery Lane, Marsh Lane and Fishergate Hill area of Preston to carry out final preparation and testing work.

“We know roadworks are a pain. And we thank the community for their on-going patience.

“But after having a regular presence above, and below the surface for the past four years in the area, we’re delighted one of the biggest engineering schemes Preston has ever seen is coming to an end.”

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