Blackwall Tunnel work completed ahead of schedule

By Giles Broadbent on November 3, 2011 1:24 PM |

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Work on the northbound Blackwall Tunnel has been completed a year ahead of schedule meaning motorists will regain full use of the tunnel from November 11.

The £70million improvements have upgraded lighting, ventilation and safety systems in the 114-year old tunnel to reduce the impact of incidents that lead to hold-ups.

TfL has altered the traffic layout to create an additional lane for HGVs on the northbound Blackwall Tunnel approach which will enable all over-height vehicles to be diverted away before causing congestion.

Figures show that last year over-height vehicles caused the northbound Blackwall Tunnel to be closed 1448 times, leading to a total of 56 hours of avoidable closures.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "It will be of huge relief to drivers who use the tunnel that we can finally bring the overnight closures to an end and I am very pleased that TfL have been able to do so over a year ahead of schedule.

"One of the reasons the tunnel is a notorious traffic hotspot is due to the number of times over-height vehicles try to scrape their way through. Last year a whopping 83 per cent of closures were for that reason and we hope the new trial over-height lane will greatly reduce the number of such incidents."

By completing the works 13 months earlier than initially projected, the tunnel will now remain open overnight during the busy Christmas shopping period.

TfL's Garrett Emmerson said: "TfL and its contractor BAM Nuttall have thrown everything at this project to get these vital works completed as quickly as possible while ensuring that disruption to local residents and road users was kept to a minimum."

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