Silvertown tunnel control structure revealed as construction proceeds

A control tower at the northern portal of Silvertown tunnel has emerged from scaffolding in recent days as work proceeds towards a 2025 opening target.

The northern structure acts as the main centre for tunnel services and workspace with a portal in Greenwich acting as a secondary location.

Looking down at Silvertown tunnel approach roads

This site’s last update a few weeks back highlighted work on cut and cover elements of the tunnel while the control tower sitting above the tunnel entrance was still firmly hidden behind sheeting.

It’s now revealed with its noticeable green roof perched above the tunnel mouth. A comparison to autumn 2023 can be seen below when the yellow steel frame was taking shape.

Silvertown tunnel site seen last autumn

Other recent changes seen in the area include freshly laid tarmac on an access road between the tunnel and Silvertown Way. It’s not evident in the photo above from last year.

Work on Silvertown Way itself (the elevated road alongside) has also all but finished. Below we can see the arrow-straight approach into Canning Town.

Looking towards Canning Town

In use

Traffic is now using part of the new roundabout that will connect the tunnel to the Lower Lea Crossing then onto various areas of east London.

If the forthcoming tangle of new roads are not clear this image from Riverlinx – the PFI contractor behind the project – may make it a tad clearer.

Courtesy Riverlinx. Forthcoming road network

Quite the land take there. A substantial roundabout swallows a substantial section of the area.

It’ll be interesting to see how quickly – or otherwise – the minimal number of buses set to use the tunnel can navigate this area. It will contain a substantial amount of traffic lights and the bus lane will be shared with lorries in the tunnel then end upon exiting.

Substantial land taken up by approach road network


That shared lane with lorries is set to see a substantial increase in HGVs as distribution centres spring up either side of the river. Just last week plans were uploaded onto Greenwich Council’s website covering two more warehouses in Charlton after a neighbour was approved last month.

Upon completion tolls will be introduced at both the existing Blackwall tunnel as well as the new Silvertown tunnel. Two bus routes will run through the tunnel while the 108 will continue through the Blackwall tunnel.

Bus routes through the tunnel

One will be part of the Superloop network formerly named as the X239 while the other is an extended 129.

Much of the tunnel’s forthcoming traffic will head through increasingly residential areas such as 1,500 homes beside the Lower Lea Crossing then other blocks around Blackwall where a lot of traffic is set to distribute.

Limmo Peninsula will see 1,500 homes alongside increased traffic levels

That’ll bring heavy traffic into conflict with ever more pedestrians attempting to navigate busier streets in years to come. While the road tunnel has seen progress public transport for thousands of new homes has lagged.

A long-mooted DLR station at Thames Wharf near the tunnel lacks confirmed funding while cross-river pedestrian and cycle bridges have been scrapped.

Silvertown tunnel is still set to open in spring/summer 2025.



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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.

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