The pumps will transfer water from inside the site's specially constructed coffer dam to the North Dock at a maximum rate of 13,500 litres per minute. A station ‘box’ will then be constructed in a dry environment - a similar technique to that used in the construction of the nearby Canary Wharf tube station. Sadiq Khan said: "I'm delighted Crossrail has passed another milestone. Draining this coffer dam marks an important new phase in the construction of the first Crossrail station that will be completed.
"When it is finished, Crossrail will boost the British economy by at least £20bn, creating and supporting thousands of jobs and adding 10 per cent extra capacity to London's public transport network."
Work on the Canary Wharf Crossrail station, which will be the first Crossrail station to be constructed, began on 15 May 2009. The six-storey structure includes plans for 100,000 sq ft of retail space and a roof-top park. At 256m long the station will be almost as long as three football pitches. Tunnel boring machines are expected to reach the site in summer 2012 and the station is due to be completed in 2015. Crossrail services are expected to begin operating from 2017 cutting journey times across London allowing travel from Canary Wharf to Liverpool Street in 7 minutes, Paddington in 17 minutes and Heathrow in 44 minutes.
Canary Wharf Group plc is designing and constructing the station on behalf of Crossrail Ltd. The enabling and civil engineering works are delivered by Expanded, a subsidiary of Laing O’Rourke. George Iacobescu, Chief Executive of Canary Wharf Group plc said (TBC):
“Work on Canary Wharf Station is on time and on budget. Our environmentally responsible construction methods, including the silent piling rigs and coffer dam to partially dewater the dock, minimise disruption to office occupiers, local businesses and residents.”
Rob Holden, Chief Executive of Crossrail said: “Work on Europe’s largest construction project continues apace elsewhere with preparatory work now underway at the Royal Oak tunnel portal site and also at Farringdon, Paddington and Tottenham Court Road. Construction at the remaining stations on Crossrail’s central section will begin later this year.”
Crossrail is the largest addition to the London transport network for more than 50 years. The development will see new stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, and Canary Wharf - then out to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, and when complete, there will be 24 trains per hour in each direction through Central London during peak times.