Weekend Tunnel Closure

Construction of a key section of the New Tyne Crossing in Jarrow will require a full closure of the existing vehicle tunnel, project bosses have announced.

From 05.00 hours on Saturday 11th July until 23.00 hours on Sunday 12th July 2009 the existing Tyne Tunnel will be closed to enable vital construction of the new south junction road bridges to take place.

Once completed the south junction will include a new loop road bridge, which will provide a direct link for Jarrow and South Shields traffic with the A19, as well as a replacement road bridge for the existing Howard Street bridge.

The construction of these new road bridges requires numerous large and very heavy concrete beams to be lowered into place onto pillars.

It is not safe for traffic to pass beneath these beams while the positioning operations take place. Furthermore, large cranes and other machinery will be located within the A19 carriageway in order to lift and position the beams, preventing access to the tunnel for other vehicles. Therefore a full tunnel closure is essential.

The timing of the closure is dependent on several factors including meeting the complex project programme for the New Tyne Crossing and avoiding the period of major road works planned on the A1 at Allerdene Bridge from 25th July. The closure also coincides with the demolition of Castle Park bridge over the A19 north of the tunnel, during the same weekend. The closure has been carefully planned in order to minimise disruption to the region’s motorists.

During this activity, Howard Street bridge, which crosses the A19 in Jarrow, will also be closed. Localised traffic management plans are being drawn up and agreed with South Tyneside Council.

Drivers unable to use the Tyne Tunnel during the weekend of 11th – 12th July are advised to use the Tyne Bridge or A1 Western Bypass during the closure.

The pedestrian and cycle tunnels will remain open throughout.

From 23.00hours on Sunday 12th July normal operations will resume at the Tyne Tunnel and it will be business as usual.

Motorists can obtain further information via the project website www.newtynecrossing.info or from the 24 hour helpline on 0191 262 4451