The mammoth three-month-long task to remove Liverpool’s flawed Churchill Way flyovers is continuing this week, with the first two spans of the Churchill Flyovers to be removed tomorrow morning (Thursday, 19 September).
Each weighing 485 tonnes, the 25 metre long sections are being painstakingly cut today over a 10 hour long process using a diamond wire cutting technique.
The first of 20 spans to be dismantled, this section sits at the western end of the northern flyover. Once cut free from the structure, they will be supported tomorrow morning by a specialist transporter and moved within the site compound, where they will then be lowered using a specialist jacking gantry to ground level. They will then be cut into smaller 40 tonne sections, before being taken away to a holding site.
Contractors for Liverpool City Council undertaking the hugely complex engineering scheme devised the unique methodology to overcome the additional problem of operating within the confines of a densely built up part of Liverpool city centre.
The dismantling process will then escalate this weekend when the two middle spans of the northern flyover, which stand more than 15 metres above Byrom Street, are also removed.
To facilitate this gargantuan dismantling challenge a full weekend closure of Byrom Street will begin at 7pm on Friday, September 20 before re-opening at 6am on Monday, September 23.
The road closure means the Birkenhead (Queensway) Tunnel will be shut to Liverpool-bound traffic only (except buses and emergency vehicles) between 7pm on Friday 20 September and 6am on Monday 23 September. 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 to allow plenty of time for your journeys. Merseytravel have provided updated information which can be viewed online at: www.merseytravel.gov.uk/churchillwayflyovers
Everton FC also have a home match at Goodison Park on Saturday, against Sheffield United (kick off – 3pm), and congestion is expected before and after the match.
When Byrom Street re-opens on Monday 23 September, there will be a lane restriction which is expected to impact on traffic exiting Queensway into Liverpool, leading to congestion at peak travel times. As a result, those wishing to travel during the peak are asked to consider using public transport or Kingsway Tunnel as an alternative.
The flyover footbridges, which were used to access Liverpool John Moores University’s Byrom Street campus, have now been fully removed. Pedestrians needing to get to the LJMU campus can go via Dale Street and Hatton Garden to Great Crosshall Street or via William Brown Street, Islington and Hunter Street (when not fully closed).
Surrounding car parks at Fontenoy Street, Dale Street, Primrose Hill and Hunter Street have 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.
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