The west ella worm is hungry!

PRESS RELEASE: 17-tonne tunnel boring machine has completed its first drive as part of the Anlaby and East Ella Flood Alleviation Scheme.


The Anlaby, East Ella and Hessle areas to the west of Hull, East Yorkshire were badly affected by the devastating floods of 2007.

COWI is providing technical support to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Infrastructure and Facilities team, which is managing a for the £22M scheme to reduce the flood risk to 4,000 homes and 70 businesses in the area. Funding is being provided by a Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) administered by the Environment Agency, and Local Growth Fund (LGF) through the Humber Growth Deal by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.

The scheme consists of a collection pond, connected to a large storage lagoon via a 1300m long and 1.8m diameter stormwater culvert. The lagoon will be able to hold up to 130,000 cubic metres of flood water – that's the equivalent of 52 Olympic sized swimming pools!

Our engineers looked-on as "West Ella Worm", the 17-tonne tunnel boring machine named by pupils from a local primary school, completed its first 600m drive beneath a hill either side of West Ella and Tranby valleys. 

Congratulations to everyone involved in reaching this milestone!



United Kingdom

East Riding of Yorkshire Council


  • Specialist tunnelling technical support for the stormwater culvert throughout the reference design, tender process
  • Support through the construction phase.

Get in contact

Chris Hitch
Principal Engineer
Tunnels, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1904796960