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Blackwall Tunnel upgrade set for early completion

Safety upgrades on the 114-year-old Blackwall Tunnel are due for completion this week, more than one year ahead of schedule.

Project client Transport for London (TfL) commissioned the upgrades after the tunnel was forced to close 1,448 times in 2010 due to oversized heavy good vehicles (HGV) becoming stuck in the tunnel.

The project involved new upgraded ventilation fans in the tunnel’s four shafts, improved incident detection with new lighting, upgraded CCTV and new communication systems. New safety inlets have also been constructed in the tunnel wall with emergency phones and fire extinguishers providing a safe area for drivers whose vehicles break down in the tunnel.

Originally the works were expected to require 10 weekend closures of the tunnel but a review of work methods by contractor Bam Nuttall helped to enable the completion of repairs in six weekend closures.

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