Credit Photo: Method Time Production
The timeline of Silvertown tunnel:
- April 2016: Application to Secretary of State for Transport
- 2016-2017: Examination and hearing process
- May 2018: go ahead given
- February-October 2018: Survey work
- 2019: RiverLinx consortium announced as the bid winner
- 2020: Construction started
- Spring 2022: Tunnel Boring Machine is assembled and tunnelling begins southbound towards Greenwich
- Winter 2022: Tunnel Boring Machine tunnelling begins northwards
- 2023: Opening user charges and cross-river bus network proposals developed
- 2024 Registration opens for user-charging accounts (for both Silvertown and Blackwall tunnels)
- 2025: Planned opening of the new tunnel.
What the bid winner has done so far
Since construction work started in 2020, The set up worksites in Newham and Greenwich are completed:
- Geotechnical surveys and in-river ground investigations
- Demolition works and utility diversions
- Strengthening of the river wall so the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) can pass underneath – this has improved flood defences in line with the Thames Estuary 2100 plan
- A coach park for local events industry use during the works
- Building a decked car park that will be used temporarily by the O2 during the main construction phase
- Preparing the launch chamber in the Newham site for the arrival of the Tunnel Boring Machine
Permission for the tunnel
In May 2018. The formal process by which the Government gives the green light to any development categorised as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).
Ditching the scheme
Sadiq Khan the Mayor of London said through his representative that there is an urgent need for another river crossing to ease the congestion at the Blackwall tunnel.
Mayor of London is urged to publish the cancellation cost
Sadiq Khan was urged to establish the cancellation cost at the meeting of the London Assembly on Wednesday 26th of January, assembly held to discuss the budget proposals. A motion was voted to ask the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to estimate and publish the Silvertown Tunnel cancellation cost.
What is the next step for the construction of Silvertown Tunnel
The assembly of the Tunnel Boring Machine will begin in Spring 2022.
The work is on schedule the total drive will be 2,244 metres, 600,000 tones of material will have been excavated. Barges will be used to move the material to avoid congestion.
Constructions added to the tunnel
The scheme includes several above-ground developments including new buildings and other structures as well as landscaping on both sides of the river. These are currently in the design and development stage with final design approvals yet to be agreed. this will be complementary to The Silvertown Tunnel.
Boord Street pedestrian and cycle bridge will replace the current concrete footbridge that crosses the A102 Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road. Designed to be fully accessible, the new bridge will play an important role in connecting the existing pedestrian and cycle network across the Greenwich Peninsula.
Two ‘portal buildings’ above the entrances of the tunnel on each side of the Thames will be built. These will house the operations centre to manage and maintain the tunnel.
Once the Silvertown Tunnel opens, drivers must pay a user charge for using either the Blackwall or the Silvertown Tunnel.
The user charge will pay be mandatory for building and maintaining the tunnel – but its main purpose is to help us manage traffic levels. Any surplus revenue will be reinvested in London’s transport network.
Credit Photo: lina-kivaka