Drivers advised to avoid Fore Street Tunnel
- Tunnel will be closed in both directions from 22:00 on Friday until 05:30 on Monday for three weekends to allow for around the clock improvement work to be carried out
- Closures will take place on 9-12 January, 30 January - 2 February and 13-16 February 2015, with drivers advised to use the M25 where possible to complete their journeys
- Work forms part of major refurbishment of the tunnel, located on the A406 North Circular Road
Transport for London (TfL) will be continuing major maintenance works to the Fore Street Tunnel across three weekends in January and February as part of its £4 billion Road Modernisation Plan.
The work, which follows an initial weekend closure in November 2014, will take place on 9-12 January, 30 January-2 February and 13-16 February 2015.
During the weekend closures, engineers will work 24 hours a day to install new concrete plinths. This work, which cannot be undertaken while traffic is using the tunnel due to the length of time the concrete takes to set, will help extend the tunnel's life and improve safety, ensuring this vital part of the road network can continue serving London for years to come.
During the weekend closures, which will run from 22:00 on Friday until 05:30 on Monday morning, drivers are advised to use the M25 instead of the A406 to complete their journey. Local traffic will still be able to use the roads directly above the tunnel, but drivers and bus passengers making local trips are advised to expect delays and allow extra time for their journeys as severe delays are expected throughout the weekends.
TfL's network of roadside message signs will alert drivers to the closure both in advance and during the works to help them avoid delays. Drivers are advised to check for disruption by visiting www.tfl.gov.uk/trafficnews or following @tfltrafficnews, and bus users can find out how their bus might be affected by going to www.tfl.gov.uk/bus/status.
Since April last year, TfL has been carrying out overnight works to Fore Street Tunnel to bring the tunnel, which forms part of the A406 North Circular Road and runs underneath Silver Street station, into a good state of repair. Work has progressed well, with upgrades to the electrics and a new fire main installed, as well as new waterproofing to the walls. Temporary cabling for new, energy efficient lighting and improved CCTV cameras has also been installed, allowing for the systems to be fully upgraded during 2015.
TfL has worked with key partners, including the local boroughs, to minimise disruption as far as possible during the improvement works. The diversion route will be clearly signed and the works and local traffic will be closely monitored over the weekends.
Dana Skelley, Director of Asset Management for Surface Transport at TfL, said:
'The important refurbishment work we are carrying out at Fore Street Tunnel continues to progress well. However, there are some aspects of the work that, unfortunately, cannot be completed without full weekend closures. We are committed to keeping disruption caused by these closures to a minimum, and apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.'
The work to refurbish the Fore Street Tunnel forms part of the wider work being carried out across London as part of TfL's Road Modernisation Plan. With a budget of over £4 billion from now until 2021/22, this overarching plan represents the biggest investment in London's roads in a generation, including hundreds of transformational projects within the existing road network. Using radical ideas and innovative designs, the plan will make London's roads greener, safer and more attractive for the benefit of all Londoners.
For more information about the planned work, please visit: www.tfl.gov.uk/forestreettunnel
Notes to Editors:
- Since the Fore Street Tunnel opened in 1998, ground water has continually leaked into it from the surrounding ground. TfL took over ownership of the tunnel in 2000 and regular maintenance has been carried out since then to minimise the damage caused by the groundwater.
- The work will also see the existing lighting upgraded to LEDs, lowering energy consumption and the need for future maintenance, as well as helping to make the tunnel safer.
- TfL manages and maintains twelve tunnels, as well as more than 1,800 structures on the TfL Road Network, including bridges, flyovers, footbridges, retaining walls, subways and culverts.