Hope for end to Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel renovation saga – despite engineers being stuck in Italy

A brand new agency could possibly be introduced in to lastly full the overdue and over-budget refurbishment of the Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel – as a result of its present contractors are nonetheless stuck in Italy.

The refit of the tunnel, which connects Jarrow to Howdon, ought to have been accomplished in 2015 however work stays unfinished and the mission has spiralled greater than £10m over finances.

The solely main work that’s nonetheless excellent is the set up of two new inclined glass lifts.

Italian agency Maspero Elevatori is accountable for the job, however its engineers have been unable to return to the UK since January 2020 due to the Covid pandemic – that means no progress has been made for greater than a 12 months.

Exasperated North East transport bosses have revealed that they might now flip to an alternate contractor in order to lastly get the renovation works completed.

Councillors heard on Thursday {that a} UK-based firm had been introduced in to conduct a survey of the lifts and set up what wants to be accomplished to make them operational – and could possibly be requested to do the work themselves.

Fiona Bootle, Tyne Tunnels supervisor for Transport North East, informed the North East Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear Sub-committee: “We are attempting to have a look at different choices, whether or not this UK carry specialist can do some work both subcontracted or instantly contracted.

Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist tunnel

“That is but to be determined, however they’ve carried out a really helpful survey which took three weeks and has gone into lots of element on what closing duties are wanted to be carried out on these lifts.

“It shouldn’t be a straightforward job, they’re very bespoke lifts that have been made to match inside that historic listed constructing tunnel – so the scale of the carry, the incline of the carry, all of it has been made a specialist job.

“To get it completed and get somebody doubtlessly completely different to end them, it has not been straightforward to discover the proper sort of specialist. But we’ve made some progress there and we hope that once I come to the subsequent assembly I might be in a position to convey some information about work being carried out on these lifts.”

Councillors have been fiercely vital of Maspero Elevatori in the previous, with committee chair Gladys Hobson having accused them final November of utilizing “each excuse in the guide” to keep away from ending the long-overdue works and calling for authorized motion in opposition to them.

As of final August, the overall price of the tunnel refit stood at £16.99m, effectively above the preliminary £6.9m finances, and it was estimated that the remaining carry works would price £350,000 and final 10 weeks.

The tunnel was reopened in August 2019, at which level it was hoped the carry works could be accomplished only a month later earlier than that concentrate on was repeatedly pushed again.

Usage of the tunnel is claimed to have elevated considerably throughout lockdown, with an additional 100 walkers and cyclists per day utilizing it in February 2021 in contrast to the identical month in 2020.

supply: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/information/north-east-news/hope-end-tyne-pedestrian-tunnel-20346705


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