Blackwall Tunnel Upgrade

9 February 2010

The Blackwall tunnel is to get a 21st Century upgrade, Transport for London announced on Thursday. The three year £49M refurbishment programme of the northbound tunnel will be undertaken by BAM Nuttall and will begin on 7 February.

The upgrade will improve safety, lighting and communications systems in the 112 year old, 1,364m long tunnel.

New fire and incident detection systems, better access for emergency services, and a new CCTV camera system will be installed in the tunnel.

The work will be done at night to minimise disruption to road users. The northbound tunnel will be closed between 21:00 and 05:00 Sunday to Friday during the project. Northbound traffic will be diverted through the

southbound tunnel during this time, while southbound traffic will be able to use other river crossings.

‘We are doing everything we can to ensure the refurbishment of the tunnel is carried out with the minimum disruption to road users, and we ask people to bear with us while these important safety improvements are carried out,” said TfL Streets chief operating officer Garrett Emmerson.

The tunnel was built in 1897 to transport horse-drawn carriages under the Thames. Over a century later it carries 50,000 vehicles a day. It carries one of London’s busiest commuter roads, the A102, under the river between the boroughs of Greenwich in the south and Tower Hamlets in the north.