BIDDING WILL continue on the £185M Second Tyne Tunnel project after a legal challenge to the scheme failed in the High Court last month.
Local resident and Friends of the Earth member Brian Atkinson had questioned the validity of an environmental impact assessment undertaken for the new tunnel.
He disputed the decision by Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority (TWPTA) to leave it to the contractor to decide how to dispose of the construction waste. But the High Court upheld then transport secretary Alistair Darling's decision to approve the scheme.
Construction of the 2.6km twolane crossing will start in autumn 2007. The central 360m section will be an immersed tube, linked to cut and cover approach tunnels on each bank.
The new tunnel will be built as a privately financed 30-year concession, with bidders required to finance, design, build and operate the project.
TWPTA has set a tender deadline of 7 August. The bidders are Connect North East, a consortium of Balfour Beatty and Volker Stein Construction Europe, and a consortium led by Bouygues.
A joint venture bid by Mowlem, Nuttall and Vinci collapsed after Carillion's takeover of Mowlem in March (GE April 06).