Transport for London have revealed that the southbound Blackwall tunnel will be closed for bridge installation work between 10pm on 31st March and 5am on 3rd April.
A new footbridge is being installed to replace the existing structure as part of Silvertown tunnel work.
This site has covered the new bridge in the past, with the new structure partly covered in mesh fencing.
The bridge is located in an isolated and neglected spot which does little to encourage active travel at the best of times, let alone when enclosed in a cage obscuring visibility of who is on it when approaching. These things matter if people are to walk and cycle more.
While Transport for London spend nearly £200 million on the road tunnel (total cost is £2.2 bn via a PFI deal) and Greenwich receive tens of millions in Section 106 income from Greenwich Peninsula developments, neither have so far bothered to improve access paths.
They’re dismal on either side. One side has Boord Street with numerous pavement obstacles including concrete blocks dumped at various points including at the junction with Millennium Way.
I wrote an entire post about approach path on the other side along Tunnel Avenue. It’s bad. No, it’s worse than that. It’s really bad.
There was a bit of a clean up after that post but a recent trip showed it not much better. Either approach to the footbridge is pretty awful.
The TfL PR may talk about a shiny new bridge but in reality it’s not without its downsides – of which the main one is the cage and poor visibility for those on approach.
Then there’s both access routes still being far from ideal for pedestrians and cyclists – and no firm plan to improve that from either TfL or Greenwich Council.
In terms of short term disruption, the tunnel closure will see the 108 terminate at Canning Town and North Greenwich either side of the river.
The Woolwich Ferry will operate a service every 15/20 minutes across the weekend between 7am and 6pm if it doesn’t break down again.
Further Blackwall tunnel closures are expected later this year as a new road bridge is installed.