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Liverpool Flyovers removal schedule revealed

Coming down: The Churchill Way Flyovers in Liverpool City centre opened in 1970, but are now structurally unsound...

WORK on the complex removal of the Churchill Way Flyovers in Liverpool will get underway in September 2019. Contractors for Liverpool City Council have devised a dismantling process which will see the ½ century old structures come down in sections up to 25 metres in length, with the highly complex job set to be completed in December.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "The Churchill Way Flyovers are a relic of a cancelled highways plan from ½ a century ago and given the overwhelming weight of evidence from independent experts about their safety, their removal was the only viable option. We simply have no choice but to take them down as soon as possible.  This deconstruction is going to be a complex process. It cannot be done overnight and 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, but people need to understand that this is going to cause a huge amount of unavoidable disruption. Detailed designs for junction improvements are also a key element in making the area a better experience for everyone, post demolition, and we will be working hard to keep all of our City Centre stakeholders and the public informed at every stage of the dismantling and how the new traffic proposals will look."

The innovative methodology, devised collaboratively between Amey Consulting, GRAHAM and their specialist contractors, will enable the deconstruction to take place without having to implement a 3 month road closure on 2 major arterial roads servicing Liverpool City Centre and the Birkenhead (Queensway) Tunnel.

The dismantling works will have a significant impact on how traffic gets in to and out of the City Centre and moves around it. At key points in the programme, motorists will be advised to only drive if absolutely necessary, and instead to walk, cycle or take the bus or train. The work will also affect existing pedestrian routes, which will be subject to diversions.

The phased dismantling of the 2 Flyovers; which connect:- Lime Street to Dale Street and Tithebarn Street; has 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 has approved this hyper sensitive approach at a cost of ₤6.75m, after the 2 lane highways were closed at the end of September 2018 following the discovery of construction flaws.

To enable this highly complex process, the site will require 3 work compounds which will be erected, on Monday, 26 August 2019. Surrounding car parks will all close:- Fontenoy Street and Dale Street is now closed, Primrose Hill, from 26 August and Hunter Street, from 27 August 2019.  They will re-open as phases complete from mid-October to late December 2019. Motorists will be directed to nearby car parks at:- Victoria Street, Mount Pleasant and Queen Square.

The 1st phase of the dismantling process will begin on Monday, 2 September 2019, with the taking down of the 3 footbridges that sit underneath the 2 Flyovers and are used to access Liverpool JMU Byrom Street campus. This will cause noise and dust in the area. This will take 2 to 3 weeks for the contractors, GRAHAM, to complete, and will see a series of phased weekend road closures of:- Byrom Street and then Hunter Street. Pedestrians needing to get to the LJMU campus will go via:- Dale Street and Hatton Garden to Great Crosshall Street. There will also be a pedestrian diversion route available via:- Hunter Street, Islington, Commutation Row and William Brown Street.

Steven McKinney, Principal Engineering Manager, Amey Consulting, said:- "Our design engineers have worked closely with Liverpool City Council and demolition contractors, Graham Construction, on an innovative engineering solution that aims to minimise disruption and ensure the safety of the public.  Provisions have also been made to protect local landmarks such as museums and galleries. We believe this represents the best solution for the City and for local communities."

Once removed, the focus of the engineering task will swing to the removal of the Flyovers; each of which are more than 240m in length. This phase will involve heavy machinery removing individual spans in a pre-determined sequence.

Each span; weighing between 300 and 600 tonnes; will be temporarily supported, before being cut free and moved on to a special transporter to a nearby compound, where it will be lowered to ground level, cut into smaller sections and removed off site to be crushed. A total of 20 spans and supporting piers will be removed over a 4 month period. The compound at Fontenoy Street, which will see the sections cut into smaller pieces, will require tree removal, but the City Council has plans to double tree numbers, as part of a new Post Flyover Masterplan for the area.

The Flyover Dismantling Phase will run from Friday evening until Sunday night on the weekends of:- 6 September to 9 September, 20 September to 23 September and 4 October to 7 October 2019. The closure of Hunter Street and Byrom Street over these weekends will mean the Birkenhead (Queensway) Tunnel will be shut to Liverpool bound traffic only (except buses and emergency vehicles), with the tunnel closed from 7pm, on Friday, to 6am on the Monday. Wirral bound traffic will be able to use the tunnel as normal. The Wallasey (Kingsway) Tunnel will be open as usual.

The scheme will also see:-

Fontenoy Street completely closed, from 2 September until 14 October 2019.

► Closure of the section of Dale Street from:- Byrom Street to Crosshall Street, from 4 October to 14 October 2019.

► Cuerden Street, which sits immediately behind the major cultural buildings and provides access to the footbridge to the LJMU campus, will be closed for 1 month, from 11 November to 20 December 2019.

Once the deconstruction is complete, alterations will be made to the highway layout around the:- Hunter Street; Byrom Street; Queensway Tunnel entrance, to improve traffic and pedestrian movements.

Engineers have also investigated potential impact to other nearby roadwork schemes, specifically the new City Bus Hub currently under construction on Old Haymarket, and concluded the demolition will have no negative effect.

► 2 information events have been arranged for the public to discover more about the scheme, the methodology and the timings of road closures. They will be held on Friday, 23 August 2019 and Wednesday, 28 August 2019, from 10am to 7pm, at Liverpool Central Library, on William Brown Street.

► The public can access information online or gain regular updates on Twitter @LpoolCouncil or at the City Council's Facebook Page.

An information events for people to find out more about the removal of the Churchill Way Flyovers in Liverpool are being held later this month. The innovative methodology, devised collaboratively between Amey Consulting, GRAHAM and their specialist contractors, will enable the deconstruction to take place without having to implement a 3 month road closure on 2 major arterial roads servicing Liverpool City Centre and the Birkenhead (Queensway) Tunnel.  The drop-in sessions, where people can pop in and speak to representatives from the contractors and the City Council, with the next to be held on Wednesday, 28 August 2019, from 10am to 7pm, at Liverpool Central Library on William Brown Street.

Did you know?

► The Churchill Way Flyovers 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.

► Opened in 1970, as part of a City Centre Inner Ring Road Scheme that was later cancelled; 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.

► Following new legislation on major highways structures, a Post Tensioned Special Inspection (PTSI) began in 2016 to assess the Northern and Southern sections. 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.

► An independent engineering report was handed to the City Council, in February 2019, following more than 140 different types of structural testing, involving:- removal of the road surface, drilling into the decks and underground assessments of every supporting column. The tests had found multiple flaws including that the quality of the concrete and steel was poor, with tendons and ducts corroded and signs of structural distress including cracking over some supports. It concluded the structures could not be strengthened.

►This led to a detailed inspection that concluded that multiple, significant defects could not be reversed and it would cost the Council ₤7.2m just to maintain the structure, with no traffic allowed, for the remaining 20 years of its lifespan.

►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.

Formby's Coastguard Houses have been demolished

THE end of an era in Formby as the homes built in 1949 to house members of the Coastguard are demolished. They are being deleted to make way for a gated community that will have 12 detached houses located within it.  The Coastguard Houses have become a local land mark and residents in the area said they are sad to hear that planning permission had been granted for the demolition of numbers 20 to 30.  The homes are some of the very last connections with Formby's very special place in history and its connection to saving lives at sea.

If you don't know Formby was the location of the world's 1st Lifeboat Station, located on Formby Point. That was built in the early 1770's, to save lives on the often treacherous Formby coastline and operated until in 1918. This Lifeboat House was used during World War 2 and later turned into a Cafe. It was located just down the road from these buildings and after storm damage, back in 1970, it was demolished. Only a bit of the red sandstone blocks where the foundations of the walls were remain on the beach today.

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