Posted: Wed 18th Aug 2021

Sandstone excavated from under Chester finds new home at Chester Zoo

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Sand dug from a new drainage tunnel under Chester is creating a new home for animals at Chester zoo.

Over two hundred tonnes of red sandstone have been provided from the works along St. Martin’s Way and Nicholas Street and will be used in the charity zoo’s Eastern black rhino and painted dog habitats.

During the excavations the two tunnel boring machines extract the sandstone and the on-site separation plants wash and separate the sand to meet the zoo’s strict bio-security standards.

Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration said: “We are delighted to help facilitate this donation to Chester Zoo and put the sand excavated to good use.”

“Work on the new drainage tunnel is progressing well, we want to thank the public for bearing with us while we work to complete this piece of critical infrastructure as fast as possible.”

Colin Rankin, Business Development Director for VINCI Construction UK Limited said: “Being able to work with Chester Zoo to support their important animal conservation work is a real privilege and we hope this donation can make a difference to the welfare of their Eastern black rhinos and painted dogs.”

Dr Nick Davis, Deputy Curator of Mammals, at Chester Zoo, commented: “We’re very grateful to Cheshire West and Chester Council and VINCI Construction UK for going the extra mile to identify a use for the tunnel excavations.”

“As a charity, this donation has saved us over £6,000, helping us in our mission to prevent extinction.”

“The red sandstone is perfect for the Eastern black rhino and painted dogs’ habitats, as it mirrors the animal’s environment in the wild.”

The new drain will run south along St. Martin’s Way, Nicholas Street, Grosvenor Road and Castle Drive.

It will be almost 1km in length, 1.2m in diameter and require 9 access shafts spaced along the route, each 7m wide and up to 12m deep.

It will reduce flooding and drain bursts in the city centre and reduce untreated sewage discharges into the River Dee during heavy rainfall when the current network is already at capacity.

Over 99% of the excavations from the new drainage tunnel will be recovered or recycled.

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