Silvertown tunnel: March construction update

Work continues on Silvertown tunnel construction ahead of opening in around a year’s time – and with spring here it’s time for a little update.

I’ve been up on the Cable Car again for a look at the site from above, given it offers a decent oversight of how the northern end of the tunnel is shaping up.

The tangle of approach roads and roundabouts look to have seen final stretches of asphalt laid in certain areas including the westbound Lower Lea Crossing.

Tunnel portal tower underway. Lower Lea Crossing to rear links tunnel to Blackwall

The Silvertown Tunnel Implementation Group – a mix of council staff and TfL – states 1,000 people are working on the tunnel.

Snippets of info

Their reports can be a handy source of information not seen elsewhere. It’s how I found out they’d remodelled expected traffic and now foresee increased southbound traffic each evening feeding into the congested A102 and A2.

It also previously highlighted issues during demolition of a footbridge when part suffered an “uncontrolled” collapse.

In terms of recent construction the main tunnel has “had all of the cross passageways excavated” and work is moving towards the fit-out stage.

Control tower in foreground

Brickwork is being applied to control towers above each entrance north and south of the river.

Meanwhile the cut and cover parts of the tunnel are seeing concrete pours for roofs as seen in a TfL presentation.

Courtesy TfL. Cut and cover section

In terms of physical road layout mitigation changes there are none south of the river. Three will occur to the north.

More on that in a forthcoming post. There are minor mitigation plans south of the Thames such as a noise barrier but it’s all very minor stuff and a rounding error (less than £1 million for all of Greenwich borough) compared to the £2.2 bn cost of construction.

108 route will continue through Blackwall tunnel post Silvertown opening

Upon opening there are just two new bus routes through the tunnel. Neither of which will be much use for most Greenwich residents. The existing 129 is extended north to Beckton but barely serves much of Greenwich borough, while a new express bus becomes limited stop almost as soon as it enters the borough from Lewisham.


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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

One thought on “Silvertown tunnel: March construction update

  • The noise barrier is currently being contested by a few of the residents along Westcombe Hill. TfL originally wrote to the affected residents in July last year, demanding the affected parts of the gardens etc be emptied by September 2023. In the original letter, the tone was essentially ‘you’re trespassing on private land, you have two months to clear off’. No plans were included as these were still pending.

    It seems that, as they hadn’t laid claim or even visited the sites since (either as TFL or LRT) in over thirty years, many residents had built out on the land. The barrier is on hold – TFL have all but abandoned the original heavy-handed threatening letters (complete with maps, copies of the original title plans etc). While they insist the land still belongs to them, they haven’t communicated since October last year.


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