New images show the scale of work inside the Queensway (Birkenhead) Tunnel during its £11m upgrade. Tony McDonough reports
Pictures have been released showing the ongoing £11m upgrade of the Queensway (Birkenhead) Tunnel.
Night-time closures began in June as part of a major investment to improve electrical equipment.This includes replacing the current lighting with an energy efficient LED system.
These 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.
This project is part of Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s plans to decarbonise the city region’s public transport network.
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 an estimated 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 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.”
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.
It became more energy efficient thanks to completion of a similar upgrade in June 2018. The Kingsway Tunnel remains open during this time.
Queensway Tunnel is being closed each night between 9pm and 6.30am while the upgrade work takes place.