The £260m New Tyne Crossing

The New Tyne Crossing was the project name for the development of a second vehicle tunnel under the River Tyne and the refurbishment of the existing vehicle tunnel, which was opened in 1967.

The project was completed two weeks ahead of schedule and became fully operational on 21 November 2011, removing one of the UK’s worst congestion black spots.

It was delivered via a Private Public Partnership (PPP). The client was the Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA). The Concessionaire, TT2 Ltd (a special-purpose company) was responsible for the part-financing, design and construction of the new tunnel, and for the operation and maintenance of all the tunnels under the river, including the Grade II listed Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels.

The Concession will run until 2037 after which all the tunnels will be handed back to TWITA.

The New Tyne Crossing represented a £260M capital investment in Tyne and Wear’s road infrastructure. Around half of the capital was provided by TT2’s shareholders. The remainder was raised by TWITA through prudential borrowing.

The main contractor was Bouygues Travaux Publics.

The second vehicle tunnel is adjacent to the existing tunnel, and runs between East Howdon in North Tyneside and Jarrow in South Tyneside. The project completed the dualling of the A19, one of the region’s most important highways, between Northumberland and North Yorkshire.

The new tunnel was built just downstream (east) of the existing tunnel. It carries southbound traffic and the original tunnel, which used to carry vehicles in both directions, now carries northbound traffic.

The installation of the UK’s first fixed fire suppression system makes the tunnels amongst the safest in Europe.