Kingsway Tunnel

Liverpool Entrance to the Kingsway Tunnel.jpg
The Three Graces, Liverpool - DSC00557.JPG
The Kingsway Tunnel (or Wallasey Tunnel) is a toll road tunnel under the River Mersey between Liverpool and Wallasey. The 1.5 mi (2.4 km) tunnel carries the A59. It was built because the Queensway Tunnel - which was built in the 1930s to carry vehicles between Birkenhead and Liverpool - was unable to cope with the rise in postwar traffic.

The project was authorised by the Mersey Tunnel (Liverpool/Wallasey) etc. Act 1965. Edmund Nuttall Limited began work in 1966. Construction took five years to complete. The approach to the tunnel on the Wirral side uses the former railway cutting that carried the Seacombe branch line. It was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 24 June 1971.

Kingsway comprises identical twin tubes. Each has two 3.7 m (12 ft) wide lanes. They carry on average 45,000 vehicles a day (almost 16.4million per year). A single car journey through the tunnel currently costs £1.70 (2017). Manned and automatic tollbooths are located on the Wallasey side. Of the two tunnels crossing the River Mersey, Kingsway is the only tunnel able to take HGVs.

In a study following the fire in the Mont Blanc Tunnel in 1999, inspectors from the European Union rated the Kingsway Tunnel as "good", one of only eight to receive that rating in Europe.

Over 75 miles of wiring was installed in the tunnel as part of a 2016 upgrade to the lighting. The upgrade saw the tunnel fitted with LED lights which were more energy efficient and longer lasting than the lights they replaced.

This page was last edited on 22 December 2017, at 19:16.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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