A MAJOR project to replace the lighting in the Kingsway tunnel is underway.

More than 75 miles of cable - the equivalent distance of Liverpool to Leeds will be installed as part of the £7.5m scheme.

Frank Rogers, Merseytravel's interim chief executive said: "The Mersey Tunnels are a vital part of the Liverpool City Region’s transport infrastructure, supporting our economy.

"More than 26.5 million vehicles a year pass through the tunnels and significant investment in the operation, maintenance and development is needed to keep them safe and efficient.

"They are amongst the safest for their age in Europe."

The work, which starts today, is part of an on-going 10 year tunnels investment programme and is expected to take 18 months to complete.

The majority of work will take place overnight.

The existing lighting will be replaced with more efficient LED units with a lifespan of at least 20 years, reducing Co2 emissions by around 450 tonnes per year and making up to £90,000 savings on the electricity bill per annum.

Liverpool City Region approved the investment for the re-wire project in November.

The existing electrical infrastructure will be replaced with modern cables which will be installed in the tunnel invert below the road surface, allowing easier future maintenance.

The 1.5 mile Kingsway tunnel opened in 1971 and was built to accommodate the rise in traffic when the Queensway Tunnel was unable to cope with the rise in post-war traffic.

The project in numbers:

  • More than 75 miles of cable will be installed
  • 1600 light fittings will be replaced
  • 6.5 miles of cable tray and baskets will be used
  • 4.5 miles of steelwork and brackets will support the new installations