Midnight commissioning for New Tyne Tunnel

The organisations behind the New Tyne Crossing project are proud to announce the commissioning of the new Tyne Tunnel. The vehicle tunnel will become operational at midnight tomorrow (Friday 25th February 2011).

The immersed tube tunnel, built as part of the £260m New Tyne Crossing project, will initially provide one lane of traffic in each direction. Upon commissioning traffic will be transferred into the new tunnel to enable the original vehicle tunnel to close to traffic for approximately ten months for refurbishment.

Councillor David Wood, Chairman of the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA), the Project Promoter, said: “It is incredibly exciting to be on the brink of this milestone event for the New Tyne Crossing project. As only the third tunnel of its kind in Britain we should not underestimate the achievement that has been made in reaching this stage.

“The commissioning of the new road tunnel represents the culmination of many years of planning, of considerable financial investment, and of almost three years of civil engineering works. To see traffic flowing through the new tunnel will be a momentous occasion for the project, and for the people of Tyne and Wear.”

Trevor Jackson, Managing Director of TT2, the New Tyne Crossing Concessionaire, said: “I am delighted to be able to invite our customers to enjoy the new Tyne Tunnel. This fantastic, state-of-the-art facility will offer motorists an improved driving experience from day one, and provides the North East with an engineering achievement to be proud of.”

Main construction work for the second vehicle tunnel under the Tyne began in October 2008.

The tunnel provides a transport link beneath the River Tyne adjacent to the original, 1967-built vehicle tunnel. Both tunnels connect the A19 in East Howdon north of the Tyne with the A19 through Jarrow in the south, and upon completion of the project will complete the dualling of the A19.