All four of the 90 metre long pre-cast and reinforced concrete sections for the new Tyne Tunnel are now under construction by VolkerStevin Marine some 3km upstream of the existing tunnel.
This contract, commissioned by client Bouygues Travaux Publics, uses the immersed tube technique and is only the third tunnel of its kind in the UK. It is being constructed using specialist workforce from both JV partners VolkerStevin and Volker Stevin Construction International.
The four sections are being constructed in a 210 metre long dry dock using specialist formwork before the team float the huge rectangle tunnel sections down the Tyne to the site of the new tunnel, which is a key part of the regeneration of both north and south Tyneside.
Each 90m long element is 8.5m high by 15m wide and has three void spaces; the large space for vehicle access and two smaller void spaces, one for emergency pedestrian access and one for services.
VolkerStevin Marine started work on the £16m contract to manufacture, transport and submerse the tunnel units for the new Tyne Tunnel in September 2008 and immersion is expected to take place later on this year.