Tunnel boring work is now underway for the new road link under the River Thames to the east of UK capital London. The first bore of the 1.4km tunnel is being driven by a TBM, which will then be turned around to drive the second.
The Silvertown Tunnel link will provide a much-needed transport connection, reducing congestion on the existing Blackwall Tunnel, notorious for its frequent long queues and traffic delays at peak periods. The new project is not without its detractors however who claim that the link will increase pollution from vehicle exhausts in the areas around the north and south portals.
The tunnel will connect Newham to the Greenwich Peninsula and provide improved bus links across the Thames when it opens in 2025. According to Transport for London (TfL), reducing congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel and providing new cross-river bus links will deliver a more reliable river crossing for drivers. It will also help economic growth across east and southeast London. The project is expected to cost €1.17 billion.
The project is being delivered by the Riverlinx consortium, which is made up of abrdn, Invesis, Cintra, Macquarie Capital and SK ecoplant, through a design, build, finance, operate and maintain contract. The vast majority of the funding is coming from private finance which has been specifically raised for this scheme.