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Work on-going to maintain secret Tawe tunnel

Underneath the Tawe in Swansea, there's a secret tunnel that connects one side of the river with the other.

Tawe tunnel

About 125 metres long, the tunnel is used by utilities companies to run cables that provide power and other services to local residents and businesses in the Maritime Quarter area.

Also used to access rock anchors that help support the river barrage, the tunnel is just about wide and tall enough for someone to cycle through on a push bike.

Experts from Andrew Scott Limited have now started maintenance work in the tunnel for Swansea Council to make it fit for purpose for many years to come. 

Descending down a 14-metre ladder close to the barrage's control tower to reach the tunnel, workers are renewing a concrete joint and also carrying out checks on the rock anchors to see if any improvements are needed.



Mike Bond, Assistant Manager at Swansea Marina, said: "The marina has been a great success since being introduced in the 1980s. Making an important contribution to Swansea's tourism economy, a lot of hard work takes place to run the attraction on a daily basis, making sure we consistently reach the very highest of standards.

"While some of the maintenance and improvement works are visible to marina visitors, a lot of the work takes place behind the scenes. This includes the work that's now on-going in the tunnel under the Tawe, which is important for the continued efficient operation of the barrage and lock gates in coming years.

"About 125 metres long and just about wide and tall enough for someone to cycle through, the tunnel, which very few people have seen, plays an important role in the day-to-day operation of the marina.

"Between 14,000 and 18,000 boats pass through the lock gates and barrage every year on their way between the Maritime Quarter and the sea."

Managed by Swansea Council, the 550-berth marina was awarded a Certificate of Excellence last year by TripAdvisor, the world's leading travel website. The certificate, which is awarded purely on the basis of positive feedback from visitors about the quality of an attraction, is designed to help tourists decide their visitor itineraries before they travel. 

The prestigious award highlights how visitors and boat owners at the marina can be reassured about the quality of facilities on offer, including water quality, safety features and the day-to-day running of the site.

Other maintenance work on-going at the marina includes the installation of zinc anodes on a steel wall forming part of the barrage's east abutment to help better protect it from corrosion.

 


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