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Queensway Tunnel

The Queensway Tunnel is a road tunnel under the River Mersey in Merseyside, in the north west of England, between Liverpool and Birkenhead.

In the 1920s, there were concerns about the long queues of cars and lorries at the Mersey Ferry terminal, and in 1925, the construction of the first Mersey Tunnel started to a design by Herbert Rouse[?]. In 1928 the two pilot tunnels met to within less than an inch (25mm).

The tunnel was opened on July 18, 1934 by King George V and Queen Mary in honour of whom the tunnel is named. 200,000 people watched the opening from the Old Haymarket entrance.

It cost 8,000,000 to build, and 1,200,000 tons of rock, gravel and clay were excavated, with some of this rubble being used to build Otterspool Promenade[?].

1700 men worked in the tunnel of which 17 were killed during work.

When driving through the tunnel, it appears as a half-circle. It is circular, however, and the area below the roadway is known as Central Avenue. Originally it was planned to run electric trams through it, but it was used to house a gas pipe which was later abandoned. Now, it is used to monitor the tunnel's 10,660 cracks, and to pump out water seeped in from the Mersey.

Later on, demand dictated the construction of a further tunnel, the Kingsway Tunnel. A railway tunnel also runs beneath the Mersey, built in the 1880s.

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