Mersey Tunnel users are being praised for their co-operation and patience as the Queensway (Birkenhead) Tunnel re-opened yesterday, Tuesday 2 March following the completion of essential works.
A programme of extensive maintenance and additional works were carried out during the six-day closure by Merseytravel, requiring road excavations and major electrical works.
These works included:
- Replacement of crossroad drainage and gullies at the portals (entrance and exits) of the tunnel
- Electrical surveys and installation of cabling to support future projects
- Partial road resurfacing
- Major cleaning of road surfaces, refuges and the tunnel gulley and drains
- Intrusive surveys of the approach and exit roads
With traffic at reduced levels due to current national COVID-19 lockdown guidance, the opportunity was taken to close the tunnel between Birkenhead and Liverpool to allow for these essential works, which would not be possible during the regular evening maintenance closures.
By delivering major capital investment projects and routine maintenance activities together, this has avoided the need for numerous closures at a later date and will help minimise disruption in the future when national lockdown restrictions are eased, and more people start travelling.
To ensure cross river travel for all vehicles, the Kingsway (Wallasey) Tunnel remained opened during these works as a diversion route.
Gary Evans, Assistant Director for Customer Delivery at Merseytravel said, “I’d like to thank all tunnel users for their patience as our maintenance programme is crucial to ensure the safe and smooth operation of the tunnels, which provide a critical cross-river route.
“Whilst it is never great to inconvenience our customers, we must recognise Queensway Tunnel is 87 years old and now was the ideal time to carry out this essential work. We can now return to the service our customers expect – simple cross-river travel through both Tunnels.”