Dates confirmed for 2014 tunnel closures

By on 03/02/2014 in Cllr Ali, News

This summer's dates for the second phase of the essential refurbishment works in the A38 tunnels through the city centre have been released.

Birmingham residents, businesses and visitors are advised that the St Chad's and Queensway tunnels will be completely closed to all traffic from 10pm on Friday 18 July until 6am on Monday 1 September.

This year's closures will be preceded by two weeks of overnight closures, from 10pm to 6am, and followed by up to four weeks of similar overnight closures.

The second phase of the works will complete the upgrade to the tunnels by renewing the ventilation system, installing new security and communications systems, replacing electrical systems and refurbishing pumping stations and plant rooms.

Amey, working in partnership with Birmingham City Council, is continuing to liaise with business representatives and organisations from across the city to get feedback on last year's closures and ensure that all appropriate measures are once again put in place to minimise any disruption.

Last year's closures saw over 200,000 additional journeys made by public transport and people who work in the city centre or who visit Birmingham are being warned not to be complacent – similar numbers will need to heed the advice again this year to ensure the roads are kept moving.

Councillor Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Jobs and Skills, said: “The success of the closures last year was down to the people of Birmingham taking on board the advice and planning in advance how they would travel.

“We are urging people to make a note of these dates and consider what travel choices they can make while these essential works are completed.”

Steve Ashley, Business Director at Amey, said: “The works that we are carrying out in the tunnels this year will not only complete the upgrade to comply with modern European standards but will also see us installing technology that will assist with the management of the tunnels in the future.

“We are working with the public transport operators and the business communities in Birmingham to once again ensure we are doing everything we can to minimise disruption.”

Further information, including a re-launched website with details of the works, what localised traffic management measure will be in place and advice for those travelling into the city, will be released over the coming months in the run up to the closures.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

• The A38 tunnels through Birmingham underwent the first phase of their refurbishment in summer 2013 when works included structural modifications, upgrading fire protection, and improving the lighting and general appearance. The refurbishment project is the first to take place in the tunnels which are over 40-years old.

• The second phase of the works includes:

o Upgrading the ventilation system, removing 8 existing fans and replacing them with 25 modern jet fans.
o Installing and connecting approximately 27 PA speakers, 21 CCTV cameras, 32 vehicle detection cameras, 48 emergency phones, 4 digital variable message signs, 162 emergency signs, 7 evacuation doors, over 40 miles of electrical cabling and all the panels needed to run the new systems.
o Refurbishment of the pumping stations and plant rooms including new fire suppression, ventilation and lighting systems.

• 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 an agreed standard, and then maintained, over the course of the 25-year contract.

• In 2010, Amey won the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service contract to manage and maintain the city's roads over the next 25 years. The contract will see a huge investment into the city's road network and Amey is working in partnership with Birmingham City Council to deliver the contract. The works include refurbishment and improvement of the city's roads, footways, bridges, tunnels, street lighting and traffic control systems.

• Amey is a leading UK public and regulated services provider with over 21,000 employees.

• Amey operates over 320 contracts, providing an unrivalled range of services including utilities, highways, waste management, rail, justice solutions, social housing and facilities management. Services are underpinned by our leading consulting and asset management capabilities, which allow us to offer stand-alone or integrated service solutions to a range of clients.

For more information, contact Lara Thorns on 07843368954, email lara.thorns@amey.co.uk

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