Family Firm Painting the Queensway Tunnel
15th February 2016
Family firm Bagnalls have delivered the specialist coatings works on the Queensway Tunnel, a road tunnel, which runs under the River Mersey connecting Liverpool to Birkenhead. The tunnel, which is over two miles long, is one of three Mersey Tunnels, the other two being the Mersey Railway Tunnel and the Kingsway Tunnel.
Works on the Queensway Tunnel required the ceiling, or crown, of the four lane single carriageway to be prepared and painted as well as the re-painting of the black and white curb chevrons on either side of the carriageway.
The tunnel is active 24 hours a day so the planning of this project had to be meticulous. The works were completed during planned night closures every 3-4 weeks over a period of nine months. Bagnalls had to coordinate painters and equipment to maximise the possession times, which were typically from 9 o’clock in the evening to 6 o’clock the next morning. Clearing the site of all paint and equipment, to ensure that the tunnel was reopened for the early morning commuters, was imperative.
And, of course, nothing stood in the way of football, and possession times were significantly reduced when evening football matches were being played at the home grounds of Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Rovers.
To deliver the project, the four lane single carriageway was split in half completing the ceiling over two lanes, while keeping the other two lanes open for emergency access. Teams of directly employed Bagnalls’ painters worked in sequence to clean, prepare and spray apply the coatings to meet the required PPG Johnstone’s specification. All works to the ceiling had to be undertaken using mobile elevated work platforms, and at any one time there were between twelve and fifteen scissor lifts in operation.
An International Paints specification was applied to almost five miles of curb, once it had been prepared using a 5000psi jet wash, to reinstate the safety critical, black and white curb chevrons.
Nothing was too much trouble for the Bagnalls’ operatives, who ensured that the site was kept safe and tidy at all times. To prevent environmental contaminants falling on the road surface, the roads were sheeted during the works and at the end of each shift Bagnalls hired a road cleaner to fully clean down the carriageway.
Steve Bethell, Director said “This project was in the public spotlight the whole time we were working on it so we had to make sure all aspects of our service were delivered to the highest standards. Thankfully, we had a great client to work for in Balvac and a very understanding general public. We hope they are as pleased with the final result as we are.”