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#1041456 - 15th Jul 2017 5:40pm Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 *****
Norton Online   Reading

Smartchild

Registered: 29th Sep 2011
Posts: 629
Loc: Wallasey
50 years ago work started...

On 15th July 1969 the Tunnel approach roads and flyovers were opened to traffic. Their aim was to reduce traffic congestion in the town centre, and in particular the arterials of Chester Street, Borough Road and Conway Street.

Work took a couple of years, and as soon as this was nearing completion, the Grange Precinct was starting and so a lot of old housing stock and shops went the way of the demolition man.

There are a number of topics on Wiki concerning the flyovers, with pictures and documents. I was granted some unprecedented access to the works at the time. Here I have compiled some of my own unpublished pictures and videos of the flyovers over a number of years and presented them as a YouTube for your enjoyment.

This is Part 1, concentrating on Conway Street, and published on the 48th anniversary of their opening, although a public viewing took place a few days before. I hope to produce a Part 2, concentrating on Borough Road - providing this one goes well.

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#1041459 - 15th Jul 2017 7:47pm Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1554
Loc: Birkenhead
Well done Norton. Some of use well remember the traffic hold ups to the tunnel before the alterations to the tunnel approaches and the building of the flyovers.
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#1041461 - 15th Jul 2017 9:04pm Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton]
locomotive Online   content
Addict

Registered: 18th Dec 2013
Posts: 270
Loc: Upton, Wirral
Excellent, I really enjoyed that, seeing places I'd forgotten, Thanks

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#1041462 - 15th Jul 2017 9:33pm Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton]
cools Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 16th Aug 2013
Posts: 2021
Loc: Wirral
I also enjoyed that Norton, love looking back at how it was and remembering. Thanks for sharing.

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#1041465 - 15th Jul 2017 9:56pm Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19219
Loc: Here.
Very interesting. Thanks for posting.
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#1041467 - 15th Jul 2017 10:39pm Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10573
Loc: Birkenhead
Excellent, I remember the morning one and a half mile queue up Borough Road to Tranmere Rovers before the flyover and road widening was developed. I never understood at the time why the Conway Street flyover was built, it didn't seem that necessary.

The flyovers were a quality build, they have had minimal maintenance compared to other projects.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#1041474 - 16th Jul 2017 9:56am Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 473
Loc: Cheshire
The tunnel flyovers were one of the biggest monstrosities ever to be inflicted on Birkenhead.

I admit I have an axe to grind, because our little community was among those wiped out to make way for them.

That apart, they were an over-the-top, ill thought-out, brutalist solution to a problem that was already on the way to being solved, as is made clear in this article from the Chrisís British Road Directory website ...

http://www.cbrd.co.uk/articles/queensway-tunnel/flyovers-and-flashing-lights

Even as the flyovers began operating, the Wallasey tunnel was under construction. It opened just two years later and would help relieve Birkenheadís traffic congestion.

Meanwhile, back at the Birkenhead tunnel, the computer system designed to efficiently marshal the traffic didnít work.

The planners were undoubtedly thrilled by their futuristic vision of building sweeping roadways in the sky. Who cared if 170 homes, 90 shops, 23 factories and 14 pubs had to be demolished?

Admittedly, the old heart of Birkenhead that was torn out by the flyovers was never the prettiest place. But it was incomparably better than the ugly, blighted, empty wasteland of concrete and tarmac that has been left in its place.

The flyovers are worth commemorating, if only to remind us what bad planning can do to a town. Fifty years on, I still curse them.

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#1041475 - 16th Jul 2017 10:07am Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton]
Excoriator Online   content
Forum Guide

Registered: 21st Jan 2010
Posts: 1021
Loc: wirral
I suspect that the real reason for Birkenhead's flyovers was that they were fashionable in the '60s and Liverpool were building them in their town centre.

There are usually better way of controlling traffic that are no quite so disfiguring. Certainly in the 1960s they were not needed in Birkenhead, and even now, could be largely done away with and replaced by roads.

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#1041491 - 16th Jul 2017 6:33pm Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton]
snowhite Offline

Wiki Guide

Registered: 31st Jan 2014
Posts: 6064
Loc: Wirral
Very nice piece of History, Norton.

Thanks for sharing with us all.

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#1041499 - 16th Jul 2017 10:42pm Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton]
Excoriator Online   content
Forum Guide

Registered: 21st Jan 2010
Posts: 1021
Loc: wirral
Well, enjoy them whilst you still can. More and more towns are demolishing them having realised that they are a lazy and disfiguring way of handling traffic. Time has moved on, and they are no longer seen as beneficial to traffic.

Surely nobody would regret the departure of Birkenhead's crop of these ugly monstrosities. The Conway Street one has gone, and I would be very pleased to see the borough road one going too.

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#1041503 - 17th Jul 2017 1:07am Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10573
Loc: Birkenhead
If you don't have multi-level crossings, the only other options are either knocking everything down and start the whole town plan again with housing beside businesses or knocking loads of buildings down to create 6 lane wide roads to cope with the necessary batching of tragic.

I would personally prefer tunnels but they cost more.

In the future it will be possible to control all traffic with autonomous systems but we aren't there yet and some people prefer the higher accident rates of individual drivers wink
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#1041508 - 17th Jul 2017 8:32am Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton]
Mark Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21079
Loc: Wirral
A great topic, thanks for sharing.
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