Originally posted 2017-06-06 11:56:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
The Tyne Tunnel is the name given to two 2-lane vehicular toll tunnels under the River Tyne in North East England. Completed in 1967 and 2011 respectively, they connect the town of Jarrow on the south bank of the river with North Shields and Howdon on the northern end. The original tunnel was one of three forming the original Tyne Tunnel Project; the others are the pedestrian and cyclist tunnels opened in 1951. The tunnels are 7 miles (11 km) downstream and to the east of Newcastle upon Tyne and form part of the A19 road.
The new tunnel is fitted with a fixed fire suppression system which releases a fine mist to contain fires to help motorists leave safely and to prevent damage to the tunnel structure. There is also a separate evacuation corridor which runs adjacent to the main tunnel. The old tunnel, now fully refurbished, includes many of the same safety features.
The New Tyne crossing is claimed to be one of the safest in the UK, thanks to a state-of-the-art active fire suppression system which is now included in its design. It is the first in the UK to be fitted with a water mist active fire suppression system, and will further ensure the safety of thousands of people who will travel through it every day.
The original 1960s-built tunnel was slated as of one of the least safe in Europe in 2000, according to a study. Inspectors visited 25 major tunnels around Europe after fire devastated the Mont Blanc Tunnel under the Alps between France and Italy. The Tyne Tunnel was officially rated as “poor” and languished near the bottom of the European league table. The inspectors found it had no automatic fire alarm system, poor lighting, no laybys or hard shoulder, and an emergency walkway that could be reached only by a
Tyne cyclist and pedestrian tunnels
Tyne Cyclist and Pedestrian Tunnel was Britain’s first purpose-built cycling tunnel. It runs under the River Tyne between Howdon and Jarrow, and was opened in 1951, heralded as a contribution to the Festival of Britain. The original cost was £833,000 and the tunnel was used by 20,000 people a day. It actually consists of two tunnels running in parallel, one for pedestrian use with a 10 feet 6 inches (3.2 m) diameter, and a larger 12 feet (3.7 m) diameter tunnel for pedal cyclists. Both tunnels are 900 feet (270 m) in length, and lie 40 feet (12.2 m) below the river bed. The tunnels are over 60 years old and are Grade II listed buildings.
At each end, the tunnels are connected to surface buildings by two escalators and a lift. The Waygood-Otis escalators have 306 wooden steps each, and are the original models from 1951. At the time of construction, they were the highest single-rise escalators in the UK, with a vertical rise of 85 feet (26 m) and a length of 197 feet (60 m). In 1992. escalators with a higher vertical rise of 90 feet (27.4 m) and 200 feet (61 m) in length were constructed at Angel station on the London Underground. The Tyne Tunnel escalators remain the longest wooden escalators in the world.
In a refitting phase the escalators and lift shafts were due to be upgraded by October 2010 to early 2011 at a cost of £500,000. A £6,000,000 refurbishment was due to take place in 2011.
20,000 people a month use the pedestrian tunnel.
In 2005, The SoundEx filmed a music video to their song Street Freak in the tunnel. The band were permitted to close the cyclist tunnel for two days and use it free of charge to bring the tunnel publicity.
In 2012, contractor GB Building Solutions of Balliol Business Park, Newcastle, was appointed to carry out the £4.9 million refurbishment which will include the replacement of two of the original four escalators with inclined lifts and the replacement of the tunnels’ ageing mechanical and electrical systems.
The two remaining escalators, which are original and of historical significance, will be opened up to public view and illuminated with feature lighting.
New lighting, CCTV, control and communications systems will also be installed, in addition to carrying out repairs to the tunnel structure itself and to the historic finishes within the tunnel such as the tiling and panelling. The concrete floor sections are also to be refurbished or replaced.
by simon schofield