Concrete has been “falling off” the structurally unsound Churchill flyover, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Christine Banks has claimed.
Banks made the revelation at a council planning committee meeting last week, after the flyover was closed for six months in September last year so urgent safety checks can be conducted.
Amey has been appointed to carry out the investigation and is due to present its findings in the coming weeks. Tests carried out last year indicated that the bridge could be heavier than initially thought.
During a debate about plans for a new bus hub in the nearby area, Banks said: “Part of the outside of the flyover has fallen down. Concrete has come off it.”
A spokesman for Liverpool City Council confirmed to New Civil Engineer that the fabric of the structure has been “crumbling in several places” due to wear and tear, stress fractures and being dislodged by water.
Cracks in the structure have also widened due to frost, the spokesman claimed. Liverpool City Council confirmed that it is expecting to receive a full inspection report from Amey within the next three weeks.
When the flyover was first built in the 1960s, inspection chambers were not incorporated to enable engineers to check inside the structure.
However, specialist engineers from Amey began on-site inspections in Liverpool. Tasks being performed by the engineers include structural testing, removing the road surface and drilling into the decks as well as underground assessments of every supporting column.
Amey has been involved in previous flyover repair projects. In 2011, it was tasked with the emergency strengthening of London’s Hammersmith Flyover after inspectors said it was in a “critical condition”.
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has claimed the Churchill Way flyover, which is a major route from the north of Liverpool into the city centre, will likely be demolished.
We Make Place is the organisation behind the Friends of the Flyover project, which seeks for the flyover to be converted into an urban park and events space even if it can no longer be used by cars.
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