The dramatic removal of Liverpool’s Churchill Way flyovers enters a new phase this weekend with the removal of a key central section.
The mammoth 70 foot long concrete span, weighing close to 600 tonnes, sits 50 feet above Byrom Street and the traffic using the nearby Birkenhead (Queensway) Tunnel – which will have to close for the weekend from 7pm on Friday, 11 October.
Before the tunnel re-opens at 6am on Monday, 14 October contractors for Liverpool City Council will painstakingly remove the span, which sits at the heart of the the southern flyover, and then cut it into smaller sections at the site compound, after which it will be taken to a site in north Liverpool to be crushed.
The pedestrian crossing at Byrom Street under the southern flyover will also be closed to the public from Friday for two weeks until Friday, 25 October.
The central section of the northern flyover was removed three weeks ago and the connecting footbridges have also been dismantled.
The full weekend closure of Byrom Street means the Tunnel will be shut to Liverpool-bound traffic only (except buses and emergency vehicles). Wirral-bound traffic will be able to use the tunnel as normal.
The Wallasey (Kingsway) Tunnel will be open as normal but is expected to be busy, and congestion, as a result of the works, is expected to affect both the approach and exit to the city centre, including the Tunnels.
Those wishing to travel into and through Liverpool city centre this weekend are encouraged to use public transport and Merseytravel have provided updated information which can be viewed online at: www.merseytravel.gov.uk/churchillwayflyovers
Due to engineering works on the network on Sunday 13 October, rail replacement bus services will be in operation on the Merseyrail line between Birkenhead Central and Chester / Ellesmere Port, calling all stations.
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).
Flyover Deconstruction – The Process:
The highly complex removal of the 50-year-old flyovers – each of which are more than 240m in length – requires a total of 20 spans to be removed in a pre-determined sequence to mitigate impact in a very busy part of the city centre.
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.
The phased dismantling of two flyovers – which connect Lime Street to Dale Street and Tithebarn Street – have also been devised to minimise vibrations to protect antique art and cultural collections, as well as wildlife housed at the Walker Art Gallery, Central Library and World Museum Liverpool – all of which sit next to the south flyover.
Liverpool City Council approved this hyper-sensitive approach at a cost of £6.75m, after the two-lane highways were closed at the end of September 2018 following the discovery of construction flaws.
Once the deconstruction is completed in December, alterations will be made to the highway layout around the Hunter Street – Byrom Street – Queensway Tunnel entrance, to improve traffic and pedestrian movements.
The site compound at Fontenoy Street, at which the sections are cut into smaller pieces, has required tree removal, but the city council has plans to double tree numbers as part of a new post-flyover masterplan for the area.
WHAT THEY SAY:
Councillor Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet member for Highways, said: “The deconstruction of the Churchill Way Flyovers is such a complex process and I’d like to thank the engineers and the teams on the ground for their work to date in what has been appalling weather.
“Disruption is unfortunately unavoidable but a lot of thought has gone into the methodology to ensure the inconvenience to city centre traffic and surrounding buildings is kept to a minimum. Public transport will be the best option this weekend and we urge people to plan ahead when thinking about journeys to the city centre at these times.”
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.”
Gary Evans, Assistant Director of Customer Delivery at Merseytravel, said: “Whilst the work to deconstruct the Churchill Way Flyovers is ongoing, we’re working closely with Liverpool City Council and other partners to keep people moving. We advise people coming into the city centre to drive only if absolutely necessary and consider other options including bus, train, walking or cycling.
“It’s also important to plan ahead and leave plenty of time for your journey to allow for road diversions and rail engineering works in place this weekend. For more information about travel options, please check the Merseytravel.gov.uk or bus and rail operator websites and travel planners.”
Road closures currently in place for the scheme:
• Fontenoy Street will remain closed until 15 November.
• A partial closure of Dale Street from Byrom Street to Crosshall Street will be required from 14 October.
Surrounding car parks at Fontenoy Street, Dale Street, Primrose Hill and Hunter Street have now all closed and will re-open as phases complete from mid- November to late December.
If car journeys are necessary, motorists are being redirected to nearby car parks at Victoria Street, Mount Pleasant, Queen Square and St Johns Shopping Centre.
• For more flyover information including all road closures and diversions go to: www.liverpool.gov.uk/churchillwayflyovers
• Regular updates can be found on Twitter @lpoolcouncil or at the city council’s Facebook page.
Funding for the deconstruction comes from the Liverpool City Centre Connectivity (LCCC) Phase 1 Grant Fund Agreement, which is supported by a £38.4m grant from the Local Growth Fund with city council match funding of £8.7m. Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through its Strategic Investment Fund.