Tunnel to help resort regain Blue Flag

A MAJOR milestone has been reached in Yorkshire Water’s £40m bathing water improvement scheme for Bridlington.

The firm has completed construction of an 800m tunnel, which will cut the chance of storm water containing untreated sewage ending up in the vicinity of the beaches.

The project will be operational in May once a pipe – which was built in Norway and floated across the North Sea – is fitted to the end of the tunnel to take storm water 1.2km out to sea.

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At present storm water runs off into the Gypsey Race, which flows to an outlet in Bridlington Harbour.

Bridlington North was one of a number of local beaches to fail to meet the new “excellent” standard under the EU bathing waters directive this year and lost its Blue Flag. Bridlington South was stripped of its Blue Flag last summer after failing water quality tests.

Named ‘Crystal’ by local school children, the machine has been working 10 metres below ground in temperatures averaging 40 degrees centigrade, burrowing out around 8,000 tonnes of material – the equivalent of 1,000 double-decker buses.

The two-metre diameter tunnel runs from behind the town’s Tesco supermarket to next to Bridlington Spa.

Project manager Duncan Warner said: “It’s great that Crystal is finishing her journey since it marks a really important milestone in the project.

“Through our contractors Morgan Sindall Grontmij, we’ve had a team of around 30 tunnelling experts working on this part of the project and they’ve done extremely well.”

People can find out more at the public information centre, which is open on weekdays between 9am and 5pm, and 9am until 3pm on Fridays on the corner of Springfield Avenue and Hilderthorpe Road.