Ferrovial to Win London’s Silvertown Tunnel Contract

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Rendering of the Silvertown Tunnel (Source: Atkins)

Ferrovial-owned Cintra Global is preferred bidder on the £1 billion ($1.27 USD) Silvertown Tunnel under the River Thames in London, the New Civil Engineer reported on May 20.

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Transport for London (TfL) is developing the highway crossing in East London to ease the strain on the existing crossings. The tunnel will run between Silvertown and North Greenwich.

Atkins has been commissioned to carry out the reference design for the Silvertown Tunnel that shall inform statutory consultation, a Development Consent Order (DCO) application and provide the basis for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Yee Associates collaborated and advised on the architectural design.

The DCO was granted in May 2018. Construction could begin as soon as late 2019, with the tunnel opening for traffic in 2024.

The proposed project comprises:

  • Two 11.45-m Internal Diameter bores, each of approximately 1.0-km in length, with two traffic lanes per bore and connecting cross-passages.
  • Cut-and-cover approaches at Greenwich and Silvertown, each of approximately 0.2km in length. The approaches will carry the same number of the traffic lanes as the bored tunnel, and would comprise emergency cross-passages. Each approach will include a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) chamber at the interface with the bored tunnel in order to facilitate its construction.

The major challenge for the project with regards to design and construction is the fact that it would be built in the area that historically was highly developed by a heavy industry, and underground remnants of redundant and demolished structures are still are present. Additionally, in recent years new infrastructure such as Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Woolwich Branch Viaduct, and Emirates Air Line (EAL) were constructed in the close proximity to the proposed tunnel route.

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