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Tunnels will stay closed until 2015.

REFURBISHMENT work on the historic Grade II-listed Tyne pedestrian and cyclist tunnels are to go on longer than planned.

Contractors said work to address the corrosion in the escalator shafts and lower halls will mean asbestos found in their lining will have to be treated.

The tunnels are now expected to re-open in February 2015, instead of August this year. The replacement shuttle bus and the Night Service for shift workers will continue to operate during the closure. Paul Fenwick, project director for the tunnels' owner the Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA) said: "Conditions in the tunnel have proved a lot worse than we anticipated and major works to treat asbestos containing materials, the presence of which we could have had no knowledge of before the works started, are now necessary if the tunnels are to continue to be an important transport link for future generations. The alternative transport measures we put in place - providing a free replacement shuttle bus and a night service - have proved highly successful and will continue until the tunnels reopen."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 22, 2014
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