The historic Grade II-listed Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels will close for refurbishment next month for around 12 months.
Contractor GB Building Solutions of Balliol Business Park, Newcastle, has been appointed to carry out the £4.9m refurbishment which will include the replacement of two of the four escalators with inclined lifts and the replacement of the mechanical and electrical systems.
During the closure, a free, timetabled shuttle bus service for pedestrians and cyclists will operate between the tunnel entrances from 6am and 8pm, seven days a week.
A night service will also be provided by tunnel operators TT2, assisting TWITA, for night shift workers who pre-register.
Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA) project director, Paul Fenwick, said: “The tunnels are an important transport link between North and South Tyneside, with usage particularly by cyclists increasing in recent times.
“All four original escalators are now out of service and beyond economic repair, so this refurbishment will give the tunnels a new lease of life and will greatly improve the experience for users.
“Inclined lifts are rare we expect them to become something of an attraction.”
The tunnel will close on May 20, and the refurbishment is being funded from the Tyne Tunnels revenue account.