Tunnel love - A38 Tunnels Closure

10pm this evening marks the beginning of traffic chaos or so the naysayers would have you believe but it is in fact the start of the closure of the A38 Queensway Tunnels through central Birmingham.

The tunnels will close at 10:00pm on Friday 19 July and reopen at 06:00am on 2 September, although they will also close for two weeks after they have reopened in September between the hours of 10:00pm and 06:00am.

The closure will involve significant work on the 40 year old tunnels involving structural changes and aesthetic improvements and will involve nearly 200 staff on site both day and night.

During the closure of the 40-year-old tunnels, work will be undertaken involving structural modifications, upgrading fire protection, and improving the lighting and general appearance. Further refurbishment works including new emergency, control and communications systems are being planned for next year.

The work in the tunnels is an important part of the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service, run by Amey and Birmingham City Council, which will see the roads across the city brought up to a pre-agreed standard, and then maintained, over the course of the 25-year contract. The service began in 2010.


Indeed the age of the tunnels is instantly apparent as Vicky Osgood from AMEY notes from a visit to a plant room in a blog on pre-closure works:

These control the ventilation and lighting for the tunnels. They look like an old BBC Sci-fi set from the 70’s! There was even a hand written notice on one wall dated 1969 – so it’s clear why the technology (heating, lighting and ventilation) desperately needs to be bought up to date


Work will transform the tunnels with almost 1,000 new lights being installed and 21,000 sq m of fire protection added to walls and ceilings, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-23362856, all ensuring the tunnels meet new health and safety requirements required by 2014. 

AMEY have produced a guide to alternative routes to avoid the tunnels, http://www.amey.co.uk/BrumTunnels/SuggestedRoutes.aspx, and a guide to the alternative transport options to avoid driving into the city, http://www.amey.co.uk/BrumTunnels/AlternativeTransport.aspx.

For more information and updates together with a blog following progress on the works visit brumtunnels.co.uk


BrumIdeas said…
Great Charles Street still acts as a barrier into the JQ. Livery Street footbridge very scary. Only solution is to join the two tunnels. Bold and radical thinking has produced results in Brum before and we need to maintain the political momentum for future downgrading of Great Charles Street. Though Metro extension will provide another green corridor into the JQ, along with surface crossing at Newhall Street.

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