The latest stage of the Queensway (Birkenhead) Tunnel’s ongoing £11m lighting system upgrade took place at the weekend – and it was all hands on the road deck inside the 89-year-old structure.
Alongside the lighting replacement project, a wide variety of additional tasks were carried out across the weekend, including:
- Replacement of road deck access covers
- Installation of cable ducting to support new Variable Message Signs
- Replacement of lighting in the refuge areas
- Cleaning the pumping station’s sumps
- Various deep cleaning and maintenance tasks
These works were arranged to coincide with the Premier League “winter break”, to help reduce traffic numbers and minimise disruption.
Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio Holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said, “We’re very grateful for the patience tunnel users have shown while these lighting upgrades are taking place in the Queensway Tunnel.
“The £11m investment 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. This upgrade will help us make significant savings in the long-term.”
The lighting upgrade in the tunnel began last 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 two-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.
The project, funded through the Liverpool City Region’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement 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 a cross river travel option.
Queensway Tunnel continues to be closed each night between 9pm and 6:30am while the upgrade work takes place.