Tyne & Wear

Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle Tunnels to reopen after six years

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Media captionTyne Pedestrian Tunnels to reopen in June after revamp

Two Grade II-listed tunnels are set to reopen after six years of repairs.

The Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle Tunnels shut in 2013 for a two-year restoration project.

But the repairs suffered a series of setbacks - including the discovery of asbestos - causing the cost to spiral from £6.9m to £16m.

Now Newcastle Council has confirmed the tunnels, built in 1951, will reopen at the end of June. They are expected to be used by 20,000 people a day.

Delays were also caused when the main contractor went out of business in 2015.

Stuart Turnbull project manager, for the city council, said: "It's been a massive job, technically complex. The tunnels are listed buildings so crucially you can't do anything which damages the structure.

"To see people riding their bikes and walking in the tunnels again will be absolutely fantastic."

Over the last six years 150 workers have been involved with the repairs to the tunnels which are 40ft (12m) below the river bed.

The tunnels, which connect Jarrow and Howdon,l cost £833,000 when they were built and were once used by thousands of shipyard workers travelling across the river every day.

Image caption More than 150 workers have been involved in the project over the last six years
Image caption The refurbished tunnels have a new glass lift

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