Asbestos delays Tyne pedestrian tunnel revamp
Posted: July 23, 2013
Posted in: Asbestos Exposure Industrial Deafness and Disease Mesothelioma
A major revamp of the Tyne pedestrian and cycle tunnel has been delayed as asbestos must be urgently removed from the ceiling of the tunnels. The Grade 2 listed structure closed in May for what was believed to be a year-long project, which will now take longer.
Despite the fact that engineers were aware of asbestos in the ceiling of the £4.9m-revamp structure, it was thought that work could continue around its presence – but this was proven not to be the case. Alarms have been raised surrounding the dangers of asbestos if it were to be disturbed, so specialist contractors have been brought in to remove the harmful fibers.
Becomes harmful over a long period of time
Asbestos was responsible for at least 2,500 deaths in the UK in 2010, mainly through contraction of the disease Mesothelioma. It is extremely harmful when high concentrations of the fibers are inhaled over a long period of time, which tends to be people who are exposed to the fibers on a daily basis at work.
The project director for the tunnels’ owners, the Tyne and War Integrated Transport Authority said: “our main contractor was concerned that the works themselves and the need to manoeuvre equipment an materials in such a confined space could damage the ceiling and disturb the asbestos”
It is not yet known how long the asbestos-removal will take but a shuttle bus will continue to run during the refurbishment.
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