The scheme which we were instructed to audit is a new two-bore tunnel under the River Thames in London to connect Silvertown on the North and Greenwich on the South side of the River Thames with new junctions at either end. The tunnel section itself will have two lanes in both directions, with one of the lanes being a dedicated Bus/Coach/HGV lane. The purpose of the scheme is to provide an additional river crossing to alleviate current traffic levels and congestion at the nearby Blackwall Tunnel as well as providing an opportunity for regeneration on both sides of the river. For the tunnel section and tie in junctions, TMS carried out Stage 2 Road Safety Audits, but in addition has carried out Stage 1 audits on the proposed Temporary Traffic Management schemes on the A102 and Millennium Way that will be necessary to facilitate the construction works.
The scheme is quite varied in the sense that the two junctions at either end of the tunnel section are different. At the Silvertown Junction a traffic signal junction is proposed and at the northern end (Silvertown), a large traffic signal junction is to be provided to tie into the existing local road network and features facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.
A free flow slip-road design is proposed at the Greenwich Junction. At the southern end (Greenwich), entry and exits to and from the tunnel portal will feed as free slip roads into the A102 which will also provide entry and exit to the Blackwall Tunnel.
Darren Newbold, the Audit Team Leader for the scheme, found the project to be of particular interest. Darren commented: “It will be the first new Thames River crossing to the east of Tower Bridge in over thirty years (Dartford Crossing being the last)”.
This will also be the first time TMS have been involved in any River Thames crossing infrastructure. The initial site visit was interesting as the audit team were able to take the Emirates Cable Car, from which gave a superb overhead view of the alignment of the new tunnel. This is a unique scheme for TMS, as a company, to be involved in and for the auditors it will be interesting to see the scheme develop over the next few years, before having a drive through in 2025.
With the completion of the Silvertown Tunnel, London due for completion in circa 2025, TMS have now started undertaking Stage 3 Road Safety Audits on offline temporary, TTM and enabling works around the extents of the tunnel project.
We expect to be visiting Greenwich many more times over the next couple of years.