The new bridge, as part of the Silvertown Tunnel project, will replace the existing 1960s footbridge across the A102 with a new, fully accessible bridge built to modern design standards with improved lighting. It has been designed to provide a safe and accessible crossing for those walking and cycling, including those using cargo bikes, across the Greenwich Peninsula, with future neighbouring development proposals in mind. The existing bridge will be kept in use until the new bridge is open.
Across the weekend, the southbound Blackwall Tunnel will be closed, and traffic will be required to take alternative routes. Drivers are advised to plan their routes in advance given height and weight restrictions at Rotherhithe Tunnel and Tower Bridge – both of which are outside of the Congestion Charge zone which operates between midday and 6pm at weekends.
Drivers of HGVs, as well as vans more than two metres in height or weighing more than two tonnes, are advised to use the Dartford Crossing across the weekend where possible. However, to help reduce the burden on other river crossings, the Woolwich Ferry will also operate a service every 15/20 minutes across the weekend between 7am and 6pm.
The northbound Blackwall Tunnel will not be affected by this closure, but drivers will be subject to local signed diversions on Saturday night while the main bridge span is craned into place over the carriageway and are advised to seek alternative routes to avoid additional delays.
Carl Eddleston, Director of Network Management and Resilience at TfL said: “The Blackwall Tunnel is used by tens of thousands of vehicles every day and we appreciate that these works will be impactful for drivers across the weekend. Working with Riverlinx CJV, we have worked hard to try and minimise the potential disruption these will cause, such as putting on additional Woolwich Ferry services and ensuring a northbound route can be maintained across the weekend. We will also be taking full advantage of the closure to carry out range of additional works to the southbound Blackwall Tunnel that can only be carried out while the tunnel is closed.”
To help inform drivers, additional variable messaging signs will be placed on the main roads approaching the Blackwall Tunnel. TfL has also worked with third party app providers such as Waze to help ensure drivers who regularly use the Blackwall Tunnel are alerted to the southbound closure and that the closure is shown in any route-planning over the weekend.
Across the weekend, the route 108, the only bus route which operates through the Blackwall Tunnel, will be split, with services terminating at Canning Town station and North Greenwich. Customers are advised to then change onto the Jubilee line to cross the river to complete their journeys. The Mayor’s Hopper fare will mean that customers won’t be charged for any additional bus journeys on the other side of the river, providing they begin within an hour of touching in on the first bus.
During the closure of the southbound Blackwall Tunnel, TfL will take the opportunity to carry out a range of works within and around the tunnel, including carriageway repairs on the approach roads to the southbound tunnel, renewing road markings and repairing signage, and cleaning gullies to reduce risk of future flooding. All this will help deliver future maintenance work more efficiently and ensure the tunnel can continue to safely operate. Air Quality Monitors located within the road closure area will also undergo general maintenance.