Silvertown tunnel construction update as roads take shape

Time for another look at how construction of the Silvertown tunnel is looking as the £2.2 billion project moves to its final stages.

The project will substantially change the face of east and south east London with the vast site and approach roads seeing changes in recent weeks, with further work on a large roundabout leading to the northern tunnel portal.

A gantry now spans the tunnel’s roads and brickwork on the control tower looks to have progressed.

Silvertown tunnel construction site

Newly laid tarmac links the slip road from Silvertown Way onto a substantial roundabout now being installed.

That proposed final road layout can be seen below.

Silvertown road network in 2025


The idea is that most traffic will head over the Lower Leamouth Crossing past Limmo Peninsula where TfL propose 1,500 homes.

Brickwork can be seen on control tower base

That will link traffic to roads such as the A13.

However of the planned two bus routes to use the new tunnel, one – an extended 129 – will head east towards Beckton after navigating at least three sets of traffic lights.

The other bus route, a new service on the Superloop network, would head west to Canary Wharf. Buses will share a lane with HGVs through the tunnel.

Worksite. Much of the cut and cover section now complete

A packed road alongside may make a dent in how much they can obtain.

The cut and cover element of the tunnel is ever more, well, covered. Much is now imperceptible with other sections almost finished.

Tunnel being covered near main portal

With work on the approaches and tunnel itself nearing the finish line systems checks will be undertaken.

While less visible these can cause problems, as the Elizabeth line can attest. Still, a train software system and signalling across a wide area presents a different challenge to a single tunnel.

Tunnel spans the Thames below as well as under a fair amount of Greenwich peninsula

There’s not been a meeting of the Silvertown Tunnel Implementation Group since February and if last year is a guide, one is due pretty soon. These meetings comprise local borough’s and Transport for London.

Docklands Light Railway trains snake their way over and around the site with a new station and homes one day planned, but as of today no confirmed funding exists for a new station.

South of the Thames

Looking over Greenwich peninsula

Over on the south side there’s not much to see from up on the cable car, nor a great deal at street level or atop a double decker. Road layout changes have been ongoing for some time with regular Blackwall tunnel closures.

Unlike north of the Thames, two tunnels will feed onto the same existing road network which could well cause southbound delays particularly each afternoon when miles of slow moving traffic already builds up.

Two tunnels will feed into same road network heading south

With tolls to be applied to both the existing Blackwall tunnel and forthcoming Silvertown tunnel there’s concern some traffic will divert to other crossings.

TfL state tolls will be set at a level to dissuade it while also not acting to induce traffic. The tunnel is set to open in a year’s time.

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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.

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