M8 Charing Cross tunnel to become 'icephobic'

15/08/2019
Dominic Browne

Scottish trunk road contractors Scotland TranServ will install a new 'icephobic' coating on the M8 Charing Cross tunnel to help tackle the potential for icicles in extreme weather.

During the winter of 2017/18 and the Beast from the East, icicles formed on the underside of the Charing Cross tunnel. This meant emergency closures were necessary to clear the forming ice from the roof.

Transport Scotland, under its strategic trunk road management programme, is now taking proactive steps to prevent this happening again this winter.

Brian Laurie, Scotland TranServ’s network bridges manager, said: 'Following extensive investigations, we’ve identified an icephobic coating to protect the tunnel from icicle formation. This innovative coating helps to repel ice or more accurately prevent ice formation.

'The technology is already being used to prevent ice build-up on aircraft and wind turbines. We will need to monitor the performance of this coating over a number of winters in order to identify its success, potentially extending its use at other locations.'

In order to install this new coating - over three weeks - a series of overnight closures of the M8 at Charing Cross will be needed. Traffic management will therefore be installed during the following times:

• Week nights (Sunday to Friday) from 10pm each evening until 6am the following morning, from Sunday the 18th of August, starting westbound

• Works will switch to eastbound for the second half of the programme

 Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles throughout. Local diversions will be in place overnight only during this programme of work.

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