The 23t tunnel boring machine (TBM) is starting its journey that will take it under the M65 motorway in Darwen at the bottom of a specially built tunnel. During the project, it will travel 16m under the motorway.
Laser guiding and GPS location technology will be used by the team operating Sandy as it creates a 270m tunnel as part of a new 1.6km pipeline between Blackburn and Darwen wastewater treatment works.
"This is an exciting milestone in the Blackburn and Darwen infrastructure project," said Kevin Moody, programme manager for United Utilities. "The new pipeline is key to this project and we have an excellent team of specialists working with us on this particular section of the tunnel to safely get us under the motorway."
Sandy will be operating for eight weeks as part of the multi-million-pound project, aimed at improving local watercourses that are tributaries of the River Darwen, which feeds into the River Ribble. The improvements will ultimately have environmental benefits by helping to continue the improvement of bathing waters along the Fylde coast.