#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”

 

Ventilation

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: ‘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. 

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. 

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.

LIVE: First Sunday of #Brumtunnel closure

I’m out this morning and later in the day to see how the streets of Birmingham are with the A38 Queensway and St Chad’s  tunnels being closed for six weeks.

Trying out liveblogging a few hours before the A38 #tunnelclosure

I’m trying to liveblog a few hours before the tunnels close today at 10pm. Tweets from @pupulchatterjee and @brumtransport.

A38 Tunnel closures to start tonight

Two arterial tunnels in Birmingham – the Queensway and St Chad’s on the A38 will be shut for six weeks of repair works this summer.

Starting Friday, 19 July from 10pm onwards, they will remain closed until 2 September, 6am.

The route

This is a map by Amey, the maintenance contractors for the tunnels, with details of the closure:

tunnel closure map

What’s happening?

The work in the 40 year old tunnels is a part of the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management service, run by Amey and Birmingham City Council (BCC).

It is a part of a 25 year £2.7bn contract between Amey and BCC, 2010 onwards.

Over the next six weeks, there will be structural modifications, and new lights and fire protection systems will be installed.

The tunnels will be closed again in the summer of 2014 for further works.

Alternate travel arrangements

Amey have appealed commuters to look at alternate transport arrangement.

They have produced guide maps with alternate routes for reaching the New Street station, Children’s Hospital, Bullring and other major locations that will be affected by the closures.

Bus operators including National Express have issued alternate travel advise to commuters and said that diversions are likely on these routes.

A free park and ride facility is also available at the Birmingham City University’s Perry Barr campus.

With the tunnel closures to begin from 10pm, Friday night, many have their fingers crossed for journeys planned in the weekend and on Monday morning, the first work day after the closures.

However, it being a school holiday period, less traffic and hence less disruption is expected.

Soon to follow: Live updates of the first day of the closures