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Second Tyne Tunnel sees off legal challenge

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BIDDING IS to continue on the £185M Second Tyne Tunnel project after a legal challenge to the scheme failed in the High Court last week.

Local resident and Friends of the Earth member Brian Atkinson had challenged the validity of an environmental impact assessment of the new tunnel.

He disputed the decision by Tyne & 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 two-lane 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 nanced 30 year concession, with bidders required to ance, design, build and operate the project.

A tender deadline of 7 August has been set by TWPTA. The bidders are Connect North East, (Balfour Beatty and Volker Stein Construction Europe) and a consortium led by Bouygues.

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