Final New Tyne Tunnel unit leaves dock

A key phase of constructing the second Tyne vehicle tunnel was completed today (Tuesday) when the final pre-fabricated tunnel section was floated out of the dock, where it has been constructed, and floated 3km down the river.

Tom Hanson and David Wood and the section of the New Tyne Crossing

The unit will form the final link of the new Tyne Tunnel when it is immersed into a dredged trench in the river bed later next week.

Watching the caisson leave the dock at Walker were Councillors David Wood and Tom Hanson, chair and vice-chair of the New Tyne Crossing’s promoter, the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority.

Councillor Wood said: “The construction and immersion of the caissons has been a superb effort by TT2’s main contractor Bouygues Travaux Publics and its sub-contractor VolkerStevin Marine.

“It is the river works that make the New Tyne Crossing such an exciting, challenging and innovative project. My congratulations go to everyone involved in making this part of the project such a success.”

Councillor Hanson said: “I was particularly pleased that the tunnel sections were able to be built on the Tyne. Now the final unit has left the dock where it was built I look forward to being able to walk through the new tunnel from one side of the river to the other in a few months’ time.”Tom Hanson and David Wood and the section of the New Tyne Crossing being floated

The final caisson is one of four 10,000 tonne, 90-metre long units making up the river section of the New Tyne Crossing. The first three units are already in place.

The new tunnel is scheduled to open in February next year at which point the existing tunnel will close for refurbishment. TT2, the Tyne Tunnel Concessionaire, expects both tunnels to be fully operational by 2012, bringing incredible reductions in journey times for customers.

Further information can be obtained via the project website www.newtynecrossing.info or from the 24 hour helpline on 0191 262 4451.