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Tunnel Beneath the Mersey

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Tunnel Beneath the Mersey

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Our contracting team worked with the client to deliver this project safely and efficiently

Key facts

Sub contractor: Aggregate Industries’ Contracting
Sector: Highways
Client: Merseytravel
Contractor: Merseytravel
  • Over 400 tonnes of 10mm S.M.A.tex Carriageway® laid each night
  • 2.6km long and 7m wide resurfaced
  • Total area laid was 36,000m2 worth around £3 million
  • Brief

    Gerry and the Pacemakers sang about a ‘Ferry cross the Mersey’, but it was travel under the Mersey that proved to be an instant success for Aggregate Industries.

    The Kingsway Tunnel between Liverpool and Wallasey was in need of repair. The existing concrete road surface had become worn and smooth, meaning vehicle incidents during rush hour had become a frequent event.

    This was not a simple resurfacing job due to height restrictions in the tunnel and the time of day the work was permitted to be carried out. Our contracting team worked closely with the client, Merseytravel, to propose an effective plan of action for delivering this project safely and efficiently, relying on the unique benefits of its fleet of non-tipping trucks (NTTs). 

    Solution

    It was agreed to close the tunnel six nights a week between 7pm and 6am Sunday to Friday, to avoid the commuting rush hour and congestion. The local authority implemented heavy penalties should the work delay the tunnel reopening each morning, amounting to £5,000 per hour per lane. Fortunately, the planning and preparation by the project team was time well spent, with the tunnel opening on time every morning during the contract with all road markings restored at the end of each shift ahead of the morning commuters.

    Aggregate Industries S.M.A.tex Carriageway® was specified as it delivers good levels of skid and rut resistance, as well as noise and spray reduction. It also offers enhanced performance and durability for lower speed heavy use roads such as the Kingsway Tunnel. Utilising Integrated Sprayjets, pavers worked in a military style ‘echelon’ formation to apply the Polybond 65 waterproofing bond coat before the asphalt was laid.

    Over 400 tonnes of 10mm S.M.A.tex Carriageway were laid each night until both passageways of the 2.6km long and 7m wide tunnel had been resurfaced. The total surface area of the contract was 36,000m2 and was worth around £3 million.

    The key to the success of the work was the use of the our fleet of 11 Non Tipping Trucks, which utilise walking floor technology to discharge material, without the need to tip. Not only was this vital in a tunnel with height restrictions, but the carrying capacity, which is around 30% more than standard eight-wheeler trucks, meant the work required fewer vehicle movements and could be finished more quickly.

    Customer testimonials

    This contract really showed the value of using NTTs, they are tailor-made for discharging asphalt ahead of surfacing machines
    Jeff Stobbart
    National Transport Manager
    Merseytravel was extremely pleased with the end result and has told us it has significantly reduced noise levels in the tunnel
    Tony Brooks, Senior Estimator
    Aggregate Industries’ Contracting

    Products and services supplied by us

    Tunnel Beneath the Mersey

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