On Friday, October 25, contractors will be taking down the seventh and eighth span of the flyovers which were closed at the end of September 2018. Tony McDonough reports
Engineers overseeing the complex demolition and removal of Liverpool’s Churchill Way flyovers have almost reached the halfway stage of the £6.75m project.
On Friday, October 25, contractors will be taking down the seventh and eighth span of the flyovers which were closed at the end of September 2018 following the discovery of serious structural flaws. A more detailed examination revealed that multiple, significant defects could not be fixed.
Next week will see spans nine and 10 come down next week, meaning 50% of the gargantuan task will then be completed. The remaining 10 spans of the structure, which was built in 1970, will be removed by mid-December.
The major central spans on both the north and south flyovers – which presented the biggest challenge, given they sat 50 feet above Byrom Street and the traffic using the nearby Birkenhead (Queensway) Tunnel – have now been removed.
This week’s phase is on the south flyover with the two spans – weighing more than 500 tonnes – running above the Dale Street exit from the Birkenhead Tunnel. By Sunday the 60-foot long concrete sections will both be down, to be cut up further at the site compound. These smaller pieces will then be taken to a holding facility in north Liverpool to be crushed.
Once this is completed, the Dale Street junction off the Birkenhead Tunnel will reopen at 7am on Wednesday, 30 October, as will the pedestrian crossing at Byrom Street.
Preparation for the next major phase of the Churchill Way flyover demolition will begin on Monday, October 28, and covers the final two spans of the north west section of the north flyover. The ninth and 10th span are scheduled to be removed by the end of the week.
On the same day Byrom Street will close northbound from 7pm through to 5am the next morning (Tuesday, October 29), with lane restrictions on the southbound carriageway. This will enable the central reserve column to be removed.
This task has been planned to coincide with a pre-arranged, night-time maintenance closure of the Birkenhead Tunnel (which will re-open at 6.30am).
Pedestrians needing to get to the LJMU campus on Byrom Street can go via Hatton Garden to Great Crosshall Street or via William Brown Street, Islington and Hunter Street (when not fully closed).
The four month-long deconstruction programme has necessitated an innovative approach and this has been devised collaboratively between Amey Consulting, GRAHAM and their specialist contractors. Stephen McFaul, contracts manager for GRAHAM, said: “This is a critical project on behalf of Liverpool City Council and will support the continued transformation of the flyovers into a safe, secure area.
“We are currently working on a number of projects throughout the city and will once again apply our collaborative approach and technical expertise to maximise the success of this project.”