#BrumTunnels reopen after 6 weeks

The A38 St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels reopened early morning after refurbishment works for 6 weeks over the summers.

Overnight closures will still be place for the rest of the month.

Works done this year

As explained by Alex Franklin, assistant project manager:

“This year’s work is more technically detailed from a mechanical and electrical point of view”



New ventilation systems and wayfarer signs (indicating emergency exit direction and distance). PHOTO CREDITS: @brumtunnels

Here’s a list of the works done this year

  • 27 PA speakers
  • 21 CCTV cameras
  • 32 vehicle detection cameras
  • 48 emergency phones
  • 4 digital variable message signs
  • Over 160 emergency way-finder signs
  • 7 controlled evacuation doors
  • Over 40 miles of electrical cabling needed to run the new systems

 More news on the tunnels elsewhere today:

More here on the tunnels from last summer.

#Brumtunnels on A38 to reopen in 2 weeks

The second year of the refurbishment of the Queensway tunnels on the A38 are nearly done. The tunnels will reopen at 6am on September 1.

Major works being done this year include renewing the ventilation systems, installation of new security and communications systems.

The tunnels have been shut for these works since July 18 this year.

Last year the tunnels were shut for 6 weeks for upgradation of the LED lighting, fire protection and road resurfacing.

With the reopening just two weeks away, here are a few updates on the works so far:

To remind you about what happened in the tunnels last summer, you can read our older stories here and look at some pictures here, some videos here and our liveblogs about the traffic here.

VIDEO: First impression of the tunnels after the reopening

Passing through the Queensway tunnels after its reopening, Ruth Duggal of Shuut Films captured her first impression of the refurbishment works:

Birmingham Queensway Tunnel Sept 2, 2013 from shuutfilms on Vimeo.

In a comment to Brum Transport, later, Ruth said the tunnels look much brighter now:

Soon to follow: More from Ruth and other commuters on her travel during the tunnel closures and after the reopening.

VIDEO: ‘Some traffic changes made during A38 closures will stay on’ – Kevin Hicks

Analysing the traffic patterns during the 6 weeks of tunnel closures, Kevin Hicks, Traffic Manager, Birmingham City Council, said some traffic changes will continue even now.

The tunnels were closed from 19 July to 2 September.

In an interview with Brum Transport, he explained why some of these alterations will be useful even outside the closures and the summer holiday periods:

Soon to follow: Reactions from commuters during the closures and after the reopening of the tunnels

VIDEO: ‘Brum Tunnels ready on schedule’ – Eddie Fellows, Amey

Talking to Brum Transport on the morning of the reopening of the tunnels, Eddie Fellows, Highway network manager, Amey said the tunnels are ready on schedule.

The tunnels reopen today after 6 weeks of refurbishment works, that include new LED lights, resurfaced roads and fire protection.

On being asked about the recent allegations of the tunnel contractors engaging about 40 per cent workers from outside the local area, he said:

“Only 4% of the workers were from outside the UK”

More from him in the video interview here:

Soon to follow: Interview with Birmingham City Council Traffic manager Kevin Hicks on what to expect next. 

A38 tunnels reopen today after 6 weeks of closures

The St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels reopened today at 6am today morning after refurbishment works for the last 6 weeks.

Major works done this year include new LED lighting systems, fire protection, safety gates and road resurfacing.

More works are to be carried out during the night time closures from 10pm-6am over the next two weeks.

Closures are planned again for the next summer for further works.

Here are some updates from few hours before and after the reopening:

Photo via Amey Press office

Soon to follow: Interviews with Birmingham City Council and Amey officials with more details on the works done this year, traffic flow changes and plans for next year.

PHOTOS: Last weekday of the A38 tunnel closures

On Monday the St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels will reopen, after 6 weeks of refurbishment. Today is the last weekday of the closures.

Great Charles StreetFrom 2 September onwards, there will be 2 weeks of night time closures to finish the remaining works.

night closuresWork in progress for the tunnels. Contractors say they will be ready for day time use on Monday.

work in progress

Bus timings that were changed on the Great Charles street for the last 6 weeks:

Bus stop changes Traffic congestions during the last 6 weeks of the closures:Traffic congestions during the closuresSoon to follow: Interview with Kevin Hicks, traffic manager, Birmingham City Council, giving more details of how the traffic flow will improve in the city centre now with better signalling systems. 

VIDEO: Eddie Fellows, Amey, on the A38 Tunnel closures

On 23 July, (second work-day of the A38 tunnel closures), Eddie Fellows, Highway Networks manager, Amey, spoke to Brum Transport about the plans for next six weeks for the refurbishment of the 40 year old tunnels.

In the interview here, he talks about the funds for the refurbishment works, whether there were options other than a total shut down of the tunnels and and how traffic flow will be monitored to help commuters.

As reported earlier by Brum Transport, the A38 St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels were closed on 19 July, at about 10pm for the repair works.

The tunnels will be closed again next summer for six weeks of school holidays for electronics works including installing cameras, emergency contact systems and ventilations.

Soon to follow: Audio clips of commuters responses and reactions during the first week of the tunnel closures.

Brum Transport’s photo on the National Express twitter feed


Brum Transport (@pupulchatterjee) on BBC Local Live

On the first Monday of the A38 Queensway and St Chad’s tunnel closure, I tweeted for the BBC Birmingham and Black Country Local Live.

The route I covered included the point starting from the Perry Barr Park free park and ride (set up by bus operator National Express) up to the city centre.

Brum Transport on BBC

I was out on the streets, travelling on buses from the Grey Hound stadium to the City Centre from 7am-11am.

My tweets included the traffic situation, commuters reactions and pictures taken on this route.