Virtual Reality modelling is being used by the project team to help designers and operators develop the project. One of the most valuable uses of the model is in providing local communities with a better idea of what to expect once works are complete.
This animation is a working draft of the virtual reality model as some detail, such as the landscaping of reinstated land, is still going through the planning process.
This animation starts to the north with new southbound toll plaza in view.
Many will recognise the entrance to the existing Tyne Tunnel that will be refurbished with a new toll plaza (northbound).
Looking back up the A19 (northwards), the East Howdon Bypass (A187) can be seen separating the portal for the new tunnel from the nearest housing.
A dedicated bus route has been provided to enable local bus services to enter the southbound tunnel without stopping at the toll plaza.
Drivers’ view of travelling south in new tunnel gives first impression of what this will feel like.
Barriers and signals at the entrance of the tunnel will enable traffic to be controlled in the event of an emergency. The new tunnel has been built with a separate escape corridor on the left-hand side. In case of an emergency, drivers and passengers will evacuate through doors spaced 100m apart into clean air within the corridor before walking to safety.
As the new tunnel is straighter and shallower than the existing Tyne Tunnel, and with traffic flowing in one direction, it is possible to have a safe, higher speed limit of 40mph. Jet fans will be installed in the new tunnel (as in the existing one) to maintain air quality and control smoke direction in the event of a fire.
As you emerge from the new tunnel in Jarrow (south of the Tyne) you pass a new ventilation building on the left.
At present, traffic flows through a roundabout junction next to the south, Jarrow portal. The roundabout will disappear to be replace with slip roads and an over bridge. In long term, this will enable four lanes of traffic to pass directly through the tunnels: two lanes southbound through the new tunnel; and two lanes northbound through the refurbished existing vehicle tunnel.
Land above the vehicle tunnels will be reinstated with a landscaped, linear park providing cycle routes and footpaths back to the Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels in a new riverside park.
River Tyne – the river section of the new vehicle tunnel has been built using immersed tube technology.
Howdon Supply Basin is being infilled as a part of the project, providing the Port of Tyne with an enhanced site in the north bank of the river.
Highway network between the northern tunnel portals and East Howdon has been substantially modified with access only available for public transport (busses); heavy lift vehicles; tunnel vehicles; and emergency vehicles.
The removal of the previous link to the East Howdon Bypass has already benefited residents by eliminating previous rat-running by drivers who historically used the route as a short-cut at peak times.
This animation completed by returning to a view of the new, south-bound toll plaza.