Excavations for second Tyne vehicle tunnel reach project milestone

Work on the New Tyne Crossing, the project to bring a second vehicle tunnel under the Tyne, reached a major programme milestone this week as excavations for the cut and cover tunnel sections were completed

Image of cut and cover

The land-based cut and cover tunnel runs through Jarrow and East Howdon. With excavations of the tunnel trench complete construction of the new tunnel’s roof and floor slabs can proceed in earnest.

80% of the concrete floor slabs have already been poured and 37% of the roof slabs are built.

image of the cut and cover section

Completion of the cut and cover excavations represents 96% of the land excavations required for the new tunnel. Work is currently underway on the remaining 4% of land excavations required for the two short sections of Sprayed Concrete Lining tunnel in Jarrow. These sections use a specialised technique to tunnel beneath utilities and reinforce the excavation at the same time using sprayed concrete. The cut and cover tunnel, on the other hand, involves excavating a deep trench, constructing the tunnel at the bottom of the excavation, and then backfilling.

Trevor Jackson, Managing Director of TT2, the project’s Concessionaire, said:
“Construction work is going well and we’re delighted with the progress we’re making across the site. The trench for the new tunnel now runs the length of the project. With cut and cover excavations complete we’re one step closer to opening the new tunnel in 2011.”

Dredging to excavate the trench for the river section of the new vehicle tunnel is due to start within a matter of weeks. At the beginning of November the cutter suction dredger, Vesalius, is due to arrive on the Tyne ready to commence work on dredging a channel within which the river tunnel elements will be placed. The tunnel elements have already been constructed at Wallsend Dry Dock, ready for immersion beneath the Tyne in the New Year.