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Race Against Time

21 June 2011

Costain recently won a race against time to reline a major water main on Oxford Street in London’s West End, the UK’s busiest shopping street, as part of an ongoing congestion relief project for Bond Street station.

A joint venture between Costain and Laing O’Rourke is busy on a seven-year project at Bond Street station for London Underground Ltd that includes complex tunnelling work.  To protect major utilities from ground settlement, some major water mains are being relined. This has involved extensive traffic management work and the creation of a one-way system on one of London’s most prestigious shopping streets.

After several months of preparation work and planning, the 21-inch water main was successfully relined at 0300 on 29 May.

The 170-metres long fully welded pipe was snaked out onto Oxford Street at just after midnight. The team then had just 15 minutes to close Oxford Street to position the pipe work on the street, which enabled the final weld to take place. Costain achieved the time-sensitive task in 14 minutes.

“It was quite a challenging job which required extensive mitigation measures to be in place to ensure that disruption to the public was minimised, but we achieved it with time to spare. We had contingency plans in place which fortunately we didn’t need,” said Clive Loosemore, Contract Director on the Bond Street Project.

“Pulling the pipe took place over a two hour period and before dawn all associated road closures were lifted to allow the traffic to flow freely for the morning rush hour,” Clive said.

The team will have to repeat this performance twice more before the end of November, ahead of the busy Christmas shopping season.