SCHEME INFORMATION PROJECT UPDATES

Last updated: 18 January 2017

What?

The Conwy Tunnel Crossovers and Immediate Stop Line Improvement Project is the latest of a series of projects delivering £42m of Capital Works to refurbish and upgrade infrastructure relating to the A55 road tunnels. The investment by Welsh Government has allowed the replacement of life expired equipment and also the upgrading of life safety engineering systems that are used to detect and manage incidents within the tunnels, resulting in an enhanced level of safety for tunnel users.

These improvement works adjacent to and within the Conwy Tunnels will consist of:

  • Upgrading signs and signals on the tunnel approaches that are used to close the tunnel in the event of an incident as well as to support traffic management used for Planned Maintenance Tunnel Closures.
  • Relocation of temporary crossovers in the central reserve and installation of a gated vehicle restraint system.
  • Resurfacing and replacement of life expired carriageway covers.
  • Tunnel fire main refurbishment and upgrade works.
  • Street Lighting upgrades including replacement of existing with new supply infrastructure, columns and LED lanterns.
  • Traffic sign improvements.

Why?

Improvement works to improve the overall level of safety and resilience of the Conwy Tunnel and to ensure continued compliance with EU legislation and the UK Road Tunnel Safety Regulations.

When?

The works are programmed to be undertaken from Sunday 22 January 2017 until Friday 31 March 2017.

The works have been planned during the winter months when traffic flows are lowest. During the closure, contractors will be working whenever and wherever practically possible 24hours per day, 7days per week throughout the Construction Phase period to ensure overall disruption to the travelling public is kept to a minimum.

Options for minimising disruption during the day have been fully explored. The safety of the travelling public and site workforce was the primary consideration when determining the safest implementation method for the Conwy Tunnel Improvement Works. It was concluded that the risks to traffic management operatives and members of the public from closing and re-opening the tunnel each night was not feasibly practical.

How?

From Sunday 22 January 2017 to Friday 31 March 2017 there will be traffic restrictions primarily between J17 and J19 which will comprise lane closures and contraflow traffic management on both eastbound and westbound carriageways.

There will also be occasional closures of the westbound carriageway to facilitate access for a crane to remove existing and install new sign and signal gantries. These closures are restricted between 0200hrs and 0500hrs only.

Benefits

The completion of the tunnel improvement works will have the following benefits:

  • Improvements to signs and signals on the tunnel approaches to enhance the ability to stop traffic safely in the event of an incident as required by the Road Tunnel Safety Regulations.
  • Additional traffic signage on tunnel approaches in compliance with Road Tunnel Safety Regulations.
  • Installation of a gated vehicle restraint system at maintenance crossovers will reduce the period taken to implement a lane / bore closure and allow future Conwy Tunnel Maintenance works to be undertaken overnight with the A55 returning to normal operation during the daytime thus reducing delays to the travelling public and also costs to implement the closure.
  • Replacement and maintenance of pavement surfacing on approaches to, within and on departures from the tunnels on both eastbound and westbound carriageways.
  • Replacement of street lighting infrastructure, cabling, columns and lanterns will improve lighting levels, reduce lighting pollution and significantly reduce the future requirement for maintenance and replacement of failing assets.

Abnormal Loads

It is anticipated that wide and abnormal loads will travel along the A55 throughout the period of the works. Road width restrictions will be in place, particularly during periods when the tunnel is operated in contra flow traffic management.

Early consultation with North Wales Police, the Road Hauliers Association and Holyhead Port will ensure that relevant parties are fully informed of the works. Procedures will be implemented to escort abnormal loads through Conwy Tunnel during periods when width restrictions are in force. These movements will occur within pre-advised time slots at times of lower traffic flows; general traffic will be stopped for a short period at these times. Additional temporary diversions will be in place during some of the lane closures.

Additional provisions and notification processes will be put into place for wide abnormal loads to ensure that the numbers travelling via the A470 and A5 are kept to a minimum.

Why use Average Speed Enforcement Cameras?

Average speed enforcement will be used to ensure the safety of road users and the workforce. The speed limit during the works will be 40mph. The Welsh Government encourages all motorists to travel safely and responsibly through the site and comply with the speed limit.

Emergency Services

Emergency services will be notified of the traffic restrictions.

Vehicle Recovery

A free recovery of vehicles service will be provided throughout the duration of the works to ensure disruption to traffic is kept to a minimum.

Further Detail

Updates on the works programme and traffic restrictions will be displayed on this website or alternatively call 0300 123 1213 for further information.

 

Update 02 March 2017:

The Works are continuing on programme. The following sections of works are due to be completed by Sun 5 March:

  • Improvement to crossovers in the central reserve and installation of gated vehicle restraint systems.
  • Resurfacing and replacement of life-expired carriageway covers on approaches and exits from the tunnel bores.
  • Tunnel fire main refurbishment and upgrade works.
  • Installation of passive fire protection system at expansion joints in tunnel bores.

Traffic management restrictions comprising a lane closure on both westbound and eastbound carriageways will be reintroduced on Monday evening March 2017, to continue with the works outside of the tunnel bores to install gantry and cabling infrastructure for street lighting and tunnel-related safety improvement systems.

It is likely that there will be slight to moderate delays at peak times and you are advised to plan your journeys accordingly.  Further updates will be provided as the works progress.
 

Update 02 February 2017:

Works to take down an existing steel structure gantry (M1C) was successfully completed during the planned westbound carriageway closure on Saturday morning 28 January 2017.

Traffic management restrictions comprising a lane closure on both westbound and eastbound carriageways will continue this week up to Sunday evening 5 February 2017, at which time a contraflow traffic management system will be implemented to allow access for improvement works to start in the westbound bore of Conwy Tunnel.

It is likely that there will be slight to moderate delays at peak times and you are advised to plan your journeys accordingly. Further updates will be provided as the works progress.

 

Update 27 January 2017:

A55 J19-J17 Full closure of tunnel, westbound carriageway

02:00-05:00 hrs Saturday 28 January 2017

Full closure of westbound tunnel required - diversions in place. Light vehicles under 17.5T via Conwy (J18-J17); HGV and over 17.5T diversion via A470/A5 (J19-J11).

NO ABNORMAL LOADS DURING THIS PERIOD.

 

Update 20 January 2017:

Traffic management restrictions comprising a lane closure on both westbound and eastbound carriageways between J17 Conwy and J19 Glan Conwy will commence from 1900hrs on Sunday 22 January 2017.
 
It is likely that there will be slight to moderate delays at peak times and you are advised to plan your journeys accordingly.

Further updates will be provided as the works progress.