New images reveal scale of work as part of £11m Queensway tunnel upgrade

New images show the scale of work inside the Queensway (Birkenhead) Tunnel as it receives an £11m upgrade.

Night-time closures began in June as part of a major investment to improve electrical equipment, including replacing the current lighting with an energy efficient LED system.

The latest images were taken during last weekend’s full closure of the tunnel which saw new cable ducts installed across the carriageway and metal carriageway access covers replaced.

Enhanced maintenance work was also carried out, including cleaning roadside grids, jet washing curbs and testing all fire hydrants, emergency doors and systems.

The £11m upgrade began in June and is part of Mayor Steve Rotheram’s plans to decarbonise the city region’s public transport network, contributing to the region’s target to be net zero by 2040 – at least a decade before national government.

Existing lighting throughout the 2-mile tunnel is being replaced by an energy efficient LED system, with a lifespan of 25 years. The new lighting will result in 60% reduction in carbon footprint of 220 tonnes of carbon each year, as well as savings on electricity costs when the works are complete in around 14 months’ time.

While the new system will reduce the amount of energy used, it will not compromise light quality.

Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio Holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said, “The £11m investment in upgrading the lighting at the Queensway Tunnel is a major part of Mayor Steve Rotheram’s pledge to target net zero for our city region by 2040.

“The Mersey Tunnels are an essential part of our city region transport network and with increasing energy prices, they are becoming more expensive to maintain.

“We receive no central Government support, so it is up to the Combined Authority to source the funds to keep them running safely and efficiently. These works will help us achieve that in the long-term.

“We’d like to thank tunnel users for their patience during this time.”

The lighting upgrade project, supported by the Liverpool City Region’s Levelling Up funding, will bring the Queensway Tunnel in line with its counterpart in Wallasey, the Kingsway tunnel, which became more energy efficient thanks to completion of a similar upgrade in June 2018. The Kingsway Tunnel remains open during this time.

This is part of an ongoing investment and modernisation programme to futureproof the tunnels as a key part of the city region transport network and a vital cross-river travel option.

Queensway Tunnel is closed each night between 21.00 and 06.30 while the upgrade work takes place.


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