Construction on the new Tyne Tunnel is due to start in June at the earliest said a spokesman for The New Tyne Crossing.
Work on erecting fencing and hoardings to secure the construction site will begin on April 22 while work on digging for the "cut and cover" section of the new tunnel will begin in June or July.
The erection of site boundary fencing will mean the closure of some footpaths, minor roads and green spaces so public drop-in sessions will be held in North Tyneside and South Tyneside this week to tell residents about the first phase of works for the second Tyne vehicle tunnel. Construction routes into the site will also be established and clear signage put in place to ensure that construction traffic does not create a nuisance.
New Tyne Crossing is the company set up especially for the purpose of part-financing, designing and building the second vehicle tunnel, and operating and maintaining all the tunnels under the River Tyne for 30 years.
The second vehicle tunnel is expected to open in December 2010 at a cost of around £260M. The existing tunnel would then close for a major refurbishment. Both tunnels are expected to be fully open to traffic in December 2011.