An excavating machine has successfully been removed from the construction site of a 'super sewer' in Putney which forced part of the bridge to close.

As part of the operation, the southbound lane of Putney Bridge was closed for 24 hours while a large crane was used from the south side of the bridge to remove the "pipe-jacking" machine.

Tideway is the company delivering the Thames Tideway Tunnel, which will prevent millions of tonnes of sewage from entering the River Thames.

At this site, a 43 metre tunnel that will connect a combined sewage overflow (CSO) point under Putney Bridge to the new sewer – which is currently under construction to stop sewage overflowing into the river - was recently excavated using the machine. This CSO currently spills around 68,000m3 of raw sewage into the River Thames each year.

The team successfully “lifted and shifted” the pipe-jacking machine from the foreshore onto a lorry, where it was then driven to begin life on another construction project.

With the work having to take place around the tidal movements of the River Thames, Putney project manager David Miles said: “The amount of strategic planning that went into this lift must be considered when we reflect on its success. From engineering, to traffic and logistics, and key stakeholder interface, the team remained focused on a positive result for all.

“The community were also out in force to witness the event, where we fielded many questions on Tideway overall, as well as the scope we were delivering. “

With the lift complete, Putney Bridge was re-opened to all traffic.

When complete, the 25km Thames Tideway Tunnel will tackle the problem of sewage pollution in the River Thames, preventing the millions of tonnes of sewage that flow directly into the Thames every year.