A spokesperson for The Dartford Tunnel Confederation has confirmed that both tunnels have been closed for ’emergency cleaning’ – no set date has been given for the tunnels to reopen, and traffic in born directions is currently using the Dartford Bridge on a ‘timeshift’ basis at 15-minute intervals.
Shortly before 8pm this evening, motorists noticed that large amounts of dust and dirt were pouring into the tunnels at both ends, and conditions became visibly dangerous.
Sir Henry Tole designed the original tunnels back in the 1950’s, and he told Southend News Network that he regrets making the tunnels higher at the ends than the middle.
He added: ‘When the government approached me to design the Dartford Tunnel, they were so impressed with my cost-cutting design that they told me to stick a second one in there. We saved the modern equivalent of £5m per tunnel by having the tunnels at a higher level at each end.’
‘The problem with this design is that eventually the tipping point will be reached in terms of dirt and debris that gathers at each end of the tunnels. If you imagine a level on Lemmings, you can picture rubble rolling inwards to meet at a central upside-down pivot point in the centre.’
‘Modern tunnels actually get higher in the middle at a slight gradient to ensure that all foreign objects just roll out. The Channel Tunnels were designed in this way and more than 1000kg of chalk just rolls out every single day.’
‘This cleaning operation will be incredibly expensive, but fortunately the management will be able to use some of the company’s £4000bn annual surplus to cover this unforeseen emergency.’
The Highways Agency has urged M25 users to find another route across The Thames wherever possible, such as going the other way around the London Orbital Motorway to reach Kent.
Tunologist professor Sir Roger Nesszoni told our Chief Reporter that it was a ‘miracle’ that the tunnels don’t flood during heavy rainfall.
He said: ‘It’s a ‘miracle’ that the tunnels don’t flood during heavy rainfall.’