Saturday, September 11, 2010

Plans to go Under and Over the Thames

Next week the Thames Tunnel, otherwise known as the "Super Sewer" is due to start its public consultation phase with the government giving its full support. That is good news, though in the current climate the government's decision might have be different if it had been public spending. In this case it's from the private sector as its a Thames Water project.

Of course there are some that question the project, especially as the £ 2.2 billion price tag will ultimately be paid for by London consumers. But it must be a good idea to stop raw sewage entering the Thames and instead be drained in a huge pipe hidden away underneath the Thames.

It feels epic in scale and Gothic in character, something the Victorians would have approved of.

However it is not the only plans to develop infrastructure in London as another project is also due to submit its planning application in the near future, namely a cable car across the Thames. The idea is to connect the O2 Dome with the ExCel exhibition centre as in the map below, and in time for the 2012 games.
It will therefore connect two of the London Olympic 2012 sites as well as providing an entertaining way to cross the river. I'm hoping the design will have suitably elegant and modern lines, as much of a step up from current designs as the Millennium Wheel was over its predecessors.

I've been on a couple of cable cars in cities before (i.e. not ski lifts) and they've always been great fun. Most notably two in South American, namely in Caracas and the Rio de Janeiro lifts up Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Both the tunnel and cable car projects, one hidden and utilitarian and the other visible and entertaining, sound like useful additions to London, and fingers crossed both proceed.

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