Skip to main content

The Queensway Tunnel, Birkenhead: Crown and Curb Restoration

Balvac (Balfour Beatty) requested Bagnalls to deliver the specialist works on the Queensway Tunnel, a road tunnel, which runs under the River Mersey connecting Liverpool to Birkenhead. The tunnel, which is over two miles long, is one of three Mersey Tunnels, the other two being the Mersey Railway Tunnel and the Kingsway Tunnel. Works on the Queensway Tunnel required the ceiling, or crown, of the four-lane single carriageway to be prepared and painted as well as the re-painting of the black and white curb chevrons on either side of the carriageway. The tunnel is active 24 hours a day so the planning of this project had to be meticulous. The works were completed during planned night closures every 3-4 weeks over a period of nine months. Bagnalls had to coordinate painters and equipment, to maximise the possession times, which were typically from 9 o’clock in the evening, to 6 o’clock the next morning. Clearing the site of all paint and equipment, ensured that the tunnel was safely reopened for the early morning commuters, on their way to work. All works to the ceiling had to be undertaken using mobile elevated work platforms, and at any one time there were between twelve and fifteen scissor lifts in operation. The targeted areas had been prepared using a 5000psi jet wash, then to reinstate the safety critical, black and white curb chevrons, an International Paints specification was applied to almost five miles of curb! Nothing was too much trouble for the Bagnalls’ operatives, who ensured that the site was kept safe and tidy at all times. To prevent environmental contaminants falling on the road surface, the roads were sheeted during the works and at the end of each shift Bagnalls hired a road cleaner to fully clean down the carriageway, to minimise the risks to commuters using the historic passageway connecting Liverpool to its surrounding area.