Thursday, 26 November 2009
I was sent this by one of the nice guys at Balfours. It is a great picture of Betsy at work in the tunnel on breakthrough day. Can't believe that was nearly a year ago already!
More pictures soon to come of Hazel Grove and the advancements of Miss James footbridge.
Keep on diggin..............
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Today I was very privileged and honoured to be invited down to the tunnel to have a look around and take some photo's.
I was shown round "Betsy" who is 1 of 3 Liebherr R944 Tunnel Excavators. She was used to dig out the Southbound tunnel. All 3 tunnel excavators were made purely for this project and are completely bespoke.
Once inside the tunnel you get a real perspective of the shear size of the project and what a fantastic job Balfour Beatty and all the other contractors have done. Not only in actually digging the tunnels and surrounding areas but making it a very safe working environment, they have gone nearly a million man hours accident free, to minimise disruption to locals residents and in keeping us informed and updated on progress thus far.
To be inside the tunnels was just amazing and to all of you who have said it does not look big enough - trust me it is!
Work inside the both tunnels continue furiously day and night and you can really see why. I got to go through one of the many cross sections between the 2 tunnels that will be used in case of emergencies.
The tunnels are due to be filled in up to road level in the near future, using spoil and muck from the Hazel Grove cutting. They had to dig about 5 - 6 feet lower than required in order to install drainage, power cables and safety systems. Also every few hundred yards they have air quality monitoring stations to make sure the air in the tunnel is safe to work in.
"Betsy" is going to be on display outside the main compound entrance for a limited time and is well worth stopping off to have a look at her. She is a phenomenal piece of machinery, seeing her close up, you can really appreciate what a huge effort diggin the tunnels were. I can honestly say that once this project is completed and opened it is going to make a massive difference to Hindhead and the quality of life in Hindhead.
I must say a massive massive thank you to everyone at Balfour Beatty who made my visit today possible and made me feel so welcome.
Keep on diggin............
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Just a quick note to let you all know that there is currently a Tunnel exhibition being held at Haslemere Museum. the exhibition will run until the 21st November and it gives you an insight into how well they are doing, some of the problems they have had to face and much more besides.
Also as of yesterday and for a limited time only, until a new home can be found for her, "Betsy" one of the 3 machines that was used to dig the tunnel will be on display outside the visitor centre at the main compound on the southbound carriageway, just north of Hindhead. For a small contribution to Muscular Dystrophy, which is Balfour Beatty's annual charity they can arrange for the cab to be unlocked for viewings and photo's. Please contact me through this website and i can forward any viewings to Balfour Beatty. Once I have permission I should able to put a either a direct contact number or email address to arrange viewings. This is a very rare opportunity and one not to be missed.
I have a viewing arranged and should have some very very exciting photo's to come next week, not just of Betsy but much more besides!
As always keep your photo's and comments coming.
Keep on diggin..........