Churchill Way flyovers to be demolished over safety concerns

The two roads, opened in the 1970s as part of Liverpool’s abandoned inner ring road scheme, will be demolished in the summer after a review found both were “no longer adequate to carry vehicles or pedestrians”.

The flyovers link Lime Street to both Dale Street and Tithebarn Street, and run directly behind the city’s museums on William Brown Street.

They have been closed since the end of September 2018 pending a review after design and construction flaws were uncovered. Remedial works were previously carried out in the 1980s, in 2005, and in 2013.

Following the most recent review, engineers from Amey have found a series of construction flaws, including corrosion in tendons and ducts, along with signs of structural distress including cracking over some of the flyovers’ supports.

Demolition is now seen as the only option, given strengthening of the structures is “not feasible” and the cost of replacing them was found to be prohibitive.

The cost of replacement has been estimated at between £50m and £60m, while demolition is expected to cost a tenth of that at £5.7m.

Demolition is expected to start in the summer, and to alleviate increased traffic flows by the loss of the flyovers, Liverpool City Council will now look to develop proposals to improve the Queensway Tunnel roundabout and the Hunter Street interchange. This is expected to cost £10m.

The footbridges across Hunter Street will be fitted with temporary ramps to allow pedestrians to cross the road and minimise the impact on traffic flow.

Churchill Way Flyover Inspection 2

Rotten concrete formwork discovered by the inspections last year

Cllr James Noakes, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “The Churchill Way flyovers are a relic of a plan from half a century ago that was never completed.

“Public safety is absolutely paramount and despite the obvious inconvenience the demolition will cause, we can’t compromise on safety and it is simply not economically viable to make them safe.

“Although there has been an increase in traffic at peak times in and around the Queensway Tunnel as a result of the closure, the city has been able to cope with it.

“What we will now be doing is working up detailed designs for junction improvements which will help deal with the removal of the flyovers.

“Our analysis shows that it helps support our City Centre Connectivity Scheme and particularly makes it easier for vehicles to exit the proposed new bus hub.

“We will be working hard to keep all of our city centre stakeholders and the public informed at every step of the way.”

Trevor Cherryholme, principal project Manager, Amey Consulting, said: “The safety of the public is our primary concern and our inspection of the Churchill Way Flyovers found that they are no longer adequate to carry vehicles or pedestrians.

“Our primary areas of concern are the poor quality of original construction, subsequent deterioration and the current signs of structural distress.

“More specifically, poor steel placement and spalled concrete, collapsed or failed formwork, failed drainage and signs of overstress in the deck are among our most significant findings.

“It is our view that there is no safe option other than demolition.”

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The right decision and a brave one. Great news for this area of the city centre and an opportunity to reinstate the streets and buildings at the correct density to unlock investment. Bring it on.

By LEighteen

Great stuff – now let’s do the same with the Mancunian Way

By Anonymous

Why don’t the council wait to re-locate the proposed bus hub to the Od Haymarket, until this has been demolished? May be able to work out something far more appropriate.


Absolutely fantastic! This will unlock so much potential to reconnect Dale Street and Tithebarn Street to William Brown Street for pedestrians; and yes, reinstating the streets and buildings. A new square could be formed at the side of World Museum – Mountford Building – this could look fantastic.
Long term I’d love to see the traffic diverted from Hunter Street too…and a short extension to the tunnel could bring the traffic out further down Byron Street…reinstating the Old Haymarket with a new building set back from Herbert Rowse’s tunnel ensemble.

By Roscoe

Great news

By Sam

Such roads are an essential part of city centres but flyovers are pretty rancid. It will be really satisfying to see this go.

I for one wish they would tunnel the Mancunian way.

By Thumbs up.

Probably the result the council wanted as it also un-locks land that has value now for residential or commercial use. That said, the city centre needs a coherent and sustainable transport and infrastructure plan so the pressure is on the council. The changes around Pall Mall and Leeds Street are currently failing miserably so whatever changes they are proposing they have to ensure they get them right.


Good news. It would be even better if it was also possible to remove (or at least refurbish) the pedestrian bridges which are just as much of an eyesore.

By Moomo

A golden opportunity to re-plan this area for the better


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