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News Report Page 3 of 10
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Liverpool's Churchill Way flyovers to be demolished!

An aerial view of the Churchill way flyovers in Liverpool, 2017.

THE Churchill Way flyovers in Liverpool City Centre are to be demolished after an independent engineering inspection found they should not carry vehicles or pedestrians because of significant defects, and cannot be strengthened.  The 2 lane, concrete structures; which were opened in 1970, as part of a City Centre Inner Ring Road scheme that was later cancelled; were closed at the end of September 2018 for detailed inspections after design and construction flaws were discovered.  They consist of 2 separate roads linking Lime Street to Dale Street (South flyover) and Tithebarn Street (North flyover), running directly behind the City's Museums and Galleries, in William Brown Street. They were closed in the 1980's for repairs and further remedial works were carried out in 2005 and 2013, as part on a regular maintenance regime.

Corroded reinforcement

Following new legislation on major highways structures, a Post Tensioned Special Inspection (PTSI) began in 2016 to assess the Northern and Southern sections, both of which are more than 240 metres in length. This found problems with drainage, internal support, barriers and bearings which led to the flyovers being shut last autumn for investigations into potential hidden defects and potential overstress. Since then, structural testing has been carried out, involving removal of the road surface, drilling into the decks and underground assessments of every supporting column has been carried out.

Engineers from Amey have found the quality of construction using concrete and steel was poor, with tendons and ducts corroded and signs of structural distress including cracking over some supports. They have calculated that strengthening the structures is not feasible and the cost of replacing them would be between ₤50 and ₤60 million, compared to a demolition price of ₤5.7 million.

Rotten formwork caused by water penetration into deck..

Work is expected to start on taking them down in the summer, and in the meantime the Council will be developing proposals to improve the Queensway Tunnel roundabout and the Hunter Street interchange at an estimated cost of ₤10 million to cope with increased traffic flow caused by the loss of the flyovers.

The footbridges across Hunter Street will be fitted with temporary ramps to allow pedestrians to cross the road and minimise the impact on traffic flow.

Independent inspection report finds the 50 year old structures can only carry their own weight .

Councillor James Noakes, Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Highways, said:- "The Churchill Way flyovers are a relic of a plan from ½ a century ago that was never completed. Public safety is absolutely paramount and despite the obvious inconvenience the demolition will cause, we can't compromise on safety and it is simply not economically viable to make them safe. Although there has been an increase in traffic at peak times in and around the Queensway Tunnel, as a result of the closure, the City has been able to cope with it. What we will now be doing is working up detailed designs for junction improvements which will help deal with the removal of the flyovers. Our analysis shows that it helps support our City Centre Connectivity Scheme and particularly makes it easier for vehicles to exit the proposed new bus hub. We will be working hard to keep all of our City Centre stakeholders and the public informed at every step of the way."

Piece of loose concrete removed from the flyover.

Trevor Cherryholme, Principal Project Manager, Amey Consulting, said:- "The safety of the public is our primary concern and our inspection of the Churchill Way Flyovers found that they are no longer adequate to carry vehicles or pedestrians. Our primary areas of concern are the poor quality of original construction, subsequent deterioration and the current signs of structural distress. More specifically, poor steel placement and spalled concrete, collapsed or failed formwork, failed drainage and signs of overstress in the deck are among our most significant findings. It is our view that there is no safe option other than demolition."

Stunt rider has accident after bikes stolen from visiting international show and a ₤500 reward now on offer for the return of the bikes!

ON Wednesday, 20 February 2019, 3 brand new specialist HONDA CRF 125 cc trials bikes were stolen from Gerlings, who are performing at Aintree Racecourse. We are told that thieves broke into Aintree racecourse through a fence and stole the bikes that are not for road use and are extremely unusual.

They have been designed to racing at over 35 miles per hour, exerting the same G force as a fighter Jet, so would be completely un-roadworthy and extremely dangerous is used wrongly. We are told that the wheels are odd sizes and have been adapted to race around the steel thunder dome, as the star act, closing the 2 hour long production direct, from Hong Kongs waterfront.

Phillip Gandey director of Gandey's Circus commented:- "Whilst we are very disappointed the bikes were stolen, we are confident with the excellent support from our fantastic hosts here at Aintree Racecourse and the security team, combined with the efforts of the Merseyside Police, that these specialist bikes will be recovered and are so unique that somebody must have information and know the whereabouts. Again we would like to send our sincere gratitude to the wonderful people of Liverpool for the exceptional support and messages we have received offering assistance, we have even been offered the loan of motorbikes from our audiences, Thankfully, Hunts Motorcycles, from the North West, have come to our assistance, delivering the new bikes that have been modified at their workshops overnight. They are not the same as the unique custom built ones that were stolen, but our artists will be practicing all day, to get the act back in the show for our audiences. However, we will ensure that as ever Gandeys, The Greatest Show will go on!"

If you do not know already, Gerlings from Columbia are world famous, winners of the:- 'International Circus Festival,' in Monte Carlo, they are used to race around the 3.4 metre metal thunder dome all together, as the closing act of Gandeys Greatest Show tour 2019.

Aintree racecourse have CCTV and images, as do Gandey's Circus and have been passed on to Merseyside Police who are now investigating. The award winning Girling family from Columbia are devastated and are shocked by this theft on their 1st ever visit the UK, Sadly this is not the 1st crime to hit the show has had in the area, as Exchange Events Ltd's tour:- 'Lady Boys of Bangkok' had all their luggage stolen whilst appearing at the Epstein Theatre, in November 2019. Plus a string of high profile thefts from celebrities throughout the North West. This makes the North West, and especially in this case, Liverpool, look extremely bad internationally, just when we need to look good, in order to attract more international investment. So any help retrieving these unique bikes would be appreciated as they are impossible to replace easily. A ₤500 reward and a VIP day, at Gandey's Circus, will be given to anyone who gives information that helps convict the thieves!

Binky Beaumont, the original ringmaster for Gandey's has said:- ''Although this is a shock to have been targeted again, it will not ever stop us from bringing any of our productions to Liverpool as we are based in the North West and always open our tour here, sadly another of our productions was targeted (The Lady Boys Of Bangkok) last autumn, whilst appearing at the Epstein Theatre, this will not ever affect the Gandey family's love for Liverpool and our fantastic audiences that have been coming to see our productions over several generations since the 1930's. Liverpool is our adopted home in the North West and we look forward to entertaining your family for the next 100 years.''

Sadly, on 23 February 2019, Glennis from the Gerling motorcycle act, who had the accident on her 1st public show with the bikes. We have been told by Binky Beaumont that the phone lines have been overwhelmed with well wishers. Also, that they still hold Liverpool with the highest of regards, despite the recent events. He added:- "We would like to thank the paramedics and the hospital staff for being amazing. We also have had so much support, we have been trying to print all the messages we are getting out, but we can not keep up. But don't worry, we will print out all the messages, and they will be given to Glennis. Thankfully we have been told that she has only broken her ankle. We can confirm that she is chatting and messaging all her family and friends, at Gandeys. We can also confirm that she is expected to make a full recovery! I can not stress this hard enough. All of us want to say 'thank you' to the amazing City of Liverpool for your incredible support and messages since this incident happened! As always the show will go on and I repeat, thank you Liverpool for your amazing messages." When asked if this was due to the new bikes, he said that this was rider error and it could have been a factor, but all the riders had practised on them and felt it was fine to continue. "Things like this do happen and thank God, it was not as serious as we had 1st thought, when the accident happened."

The show will be at Aintree Racecourse, off Melling Road (A59), Liverpool, L9 0LF until Sunday, 3 March 2019. For more information about the show and also to find out where they are heading next, go to:- GandeysCircus.Com.

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