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How do you build a new pier in one of the busiest cities in the world?

Thames Tideway Tunnel Press Release

A new pier has been launched in the heart of London after months of challenging construction work in the River Thames.

Tideway - the company behind the 25km Thames Tideway Tunnel – built the new Blackfriars pier so Londoners can continue using river transport and access the embankment while work to construct the tunnel goes on nearby.

Dubbed the ‘super sewer’ the tunnel will ensure that London’s predominantly Victorian sewerage network is able to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population for generations to come.

Work to build the pier started in November 2015, with the first step in construction to re-inforce the river wall to the east of Blackfriars Bridge, the site of the new pier. Six metal supports, weighing more than 40 tonnes each, were then transported by sea from Italy and pushed up to 23m into the riverbed to create an anchor for the new pontoon.

Finally, the 84m-long pier was towed by sea from Holland and installed in its new home before opening up to the public.

Andy Alder, delivery manager for Tideway, said: “The new pier at Blackfriars is the first physical clue of our work to build the Thames Tideway Tunnel in the heart of the City of London. This was a huge task with many challenges, including co-ordinating the arrival of materials from Holland and Italy by sea, building in the river alongside changing tides and working safely around the weather. The opening of the new pier on schedule is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the team, and the many stakeholders we have worked with.

“With the new pier in position, we are now able to start our main works at Blackfriars to prevent pollution and clean up our river for future generations.”

Peter Blake, TfL’s Director of Service Operations, said: “Thanks to Tideway we now have a brand new, purpose built pier at Blackfriars. This is a great development and allows us to berth two boats simultaneously, meaning even more passengers can now use the river. River travel continues to grow in popularity across the capital, and this is another real boost following the extensions to Westminster and Bankside Piers.”

The new pier was officially launched today by the great-great grandson and great-great nephew of the mastermind behind the city’s Victorian sewers, Sir Joseph Bazalgette, metres away from the site of the Victorian engineer’s famous Fleet sewer