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Brynglas Tunnels

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Brynglas Tunnels
Twneli Brynglas
Location Map ( geo)
Bryn Glas Tunnels M4 (Western Portal) - Geograph - 109133.jpg
Cameraicon.png View gallery (8)
Location
Newport
County
Monmouthshire
Highway Authority
Welsh Government
Opening Date
1967
Additional Information
Tunnel Type:  Bored
Length:  370m (1214 ft)
On road(s)
M4

The Brynglas Tunnels (sometimes known as the Crindau Tunnels) are situated on the M4 motorway to the north of Newport in Monmouthshire, between junctions 26 and 25A. They are twin-bored tunnels, each carrying two traffic lanes, were constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons Ltd. and opened on 5 May 1967 as part of the M4 approach roads to the Severn Bridge. The tunnels are 370m long. It is reported that several houses above the tunnel were demolished as a direct result of ground movement caused by the construction of the tunnels. The opening had been delayed for 2 years due to ground subsidence which added £1 million to the cost. The normal borehole investigations did not detect the geological faults found during tunnelling. Special tunnelling shields had to be developed.

Road users are warned on the approaches to use dipped headlights in the tunnels. Both tunnels have overhead lane control signals, though they are only used during a contraflow. The A4042 Newport - Abergavenny road passes over the eastern openings of the tunnels on the route of the old Monmouthshire western valleys railway line.

The tunnels are a remaining rare stretch of D2 on the M4 between junction 3 in West London and junction 38 south of Port Talbot. Originally, the rest of the M4 in the area was also D2, but was widened to D3 in the 1980s. Consequently, the tunnels are now a significant bottleneck, as widening is prohibitively expensive. The preferred solution is to provide an alternative bypass of Newport to the south (see M4 Toll), but this has never progressed as far as a definitive construction date.


2011 Fire

In July 2011, a severe lorry fire in the westbound tunnel resulted in closure of the tunnel for several days whilst temporary repairs were carried out. This included temporary strip lighting which remained in place until 2014, until a major refurbishment could be carried out. This meant that for three years, the eastbound tunnel was lit by orange lighting, the westbound by white.




Brynglas Tunnels
Related Pictures
View gallery (8)
Brynglas tunnels on the M4 - Geograph - 1559769.jpgApproaching the Brynglas Tunnel - Coppermine - 16227.jpgInside the Brynglas Tunnel - Coppermine - 16226.jpgM4 Newport Bypass - under construction - Coppermine - 166.jpgJ25a for Newport and about to head into a very narrow and old tunnel - Coppermine - 4942.jpg


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