A3 Hindhead Tunnel

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Type
Bypass or realignment for use by all traffic
Status
Completed
Authority
Highways Agency
Cost
£ 371m
Finance
Central Government
Timescale
2008-2010
Length
4.8 km (3.0 miles)

Scheme Outline

Realignment of the A3 into dual two lane bored tunnels, and grade-separation of the junctions at each end of the Hindhead section, removing the final section of single-carriageway between London and Portsmouth and the notorious Devil's Punchbowl hill. The scheme also removes traffic from an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The tunnel, when complete, will be the longest road tunnel in the UK.

There will be a Traffic Restriction Order in effect, prohibiting pedestrians, cycles, invalid carriages, animals and motorcycles under 50cc.

Progress

14 October 2006 The government approves the scheme and work is due to start in early 2007.
14 January 2007 Work starts on the tunnels, with an exhibition held at Grayshott to mark the scheme's inauguration.
14 April 2007 The residents of Haslemere - now finally getting the bypass they need - are actively petitioning against the expected influx of foreign construction workers, who would be housed in a special work site nearby. They fear the impact this might have on the local 'economy', including house prices.
14 February 2008 Work has started on excavating the tunnels.
14 June 2008 Excavation work is now in full swing, with systems of conveyor belts constructed at the tunnel portals to remove the spoil.
20 January 2009 There are now 289 metres to go before tunnel breakthrough.
8 February 2009 Tunnelling from the north and the south ends is gathering speed. As of 1 February 2009 there were 59 metres to go to breakthrough on the northbound tunnel and 141m in the southbound tunnel.
26 February 2009 The northbound tunnel broke through at 2.34 this afternoon.
2 November 2010 The northbound end of the bypass is now surfaced and linked in with the A3 mainline. Traffic is using temporary slips to rejoin the old alignment through Hindhead Common. At the south end, the grade separated junction is complete and the road is currently being surfaced. Properties on the old (online) upgrade at Kempshott now have a local access road.
25 December 2010 New signage being installed north and south, roads now laid in both tunnels and installation of electrical and safety systems well under way in both tunnels. The scheme is now only 8 months from completion.
14 June 2011 An emergency training excerise was held in the tunnel today. The road is due to open in the next month.
7 July 2011 The Southbound Tunnel is to open first in the next week, followed by the northbound shortly after.
20 July 2011 Opening date for southbound tunnel now confirmed as the 27th July. Northbound to be a 'few days later'.
29 July 2011 The northbound tunnel opened to traffic today.

More information

Official website
highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/3832.aspx
Website
a3tunnel.blogspot.com

It's over!

This scheme has been completed, so it's no longer possible to edit any of the information on this page.

With thanks to Michael Pritchard, Adam Meara, John and Gummybear for information on this page.

This scheme was last updated on 29 July 2011.