Transport chiefs planning major work over two years on Mersey tunnel

11 November 2014

GREAT BRITAIN - Transport chiefs are planning GBP 9M (USD 14.3M) of works on one of the Mersey tunnels in a bid to make sure it is not plunged into darkness if there is a major crash or fire, local press reported recently. The planned project, currently awaiting approval, will see all 1,800 lights inside the Kingsway tunnel to Wallasey replaced.

The improvements are needed because of where the current electricity supply lines run through the 1.5 mile-long (2.4km) tunnel. Since they are threaded along behind the cladding at 'deck level', if a major impact took place or there was a serious fire, the whole system would short out. Currently, there is no battery-powered emergency back-up lighting that would come on in the event of an emergency.

The current electrical cabling is made of aluminium, which was cheaper to install than copper cabling. It is now nearing the end of its useful life after 40 years, and must be replaced.

The works on the Kingsway tunnel to Wallasey could take up to two years, and Merseytravel warned that there will be closures at times when it is being carried out.