Brief Notes on Steel Works Tunnel.
From 1955 a large section of the slag bank was moved from one side to the other therefore permitting a start for a large expansion programme.
Before construction of the tunnel, the steel plant was basically in two sections, and separated by a valley. On the northern part, which was made up ground, were the steel furnaces, rolling mill, inspection and workshops, whilst the southern section had a large scrap bay and railway sidings built on natural ground. Both sections were serviced by a rail network which had a bridge spanning the narrow part of the valley.
From Lodge village, the roadway continued directly into the steel plant, and onto the village of Brymbo, although privately owned, road was open to pedestrians and light vehicles.
Construction of the tunnel started 1956, and opened by Mrs Waring, wife of the managing director 1957.
1959, the second section of the tunnel was constructed and opened in 1960.
(The tunnel was built in two phases, first 1956/7 was oval shaped from Lodge end to the gas producers plant, with the second section in 1959 was more square with a flat roof, continued from gas producer to area short of the works yard.)
Upon completion of each section, suitable fill material was used to cover the tunnel, this therefore contributed to a considerable area becoming available for various expansion programmes, resulting with the two halves of the steel plant being finally connected.
Length was some 300 yards (275m). It had a single track road with a one way system in operation from the Lodge. Headroom was 13' 6" (4.1m).
Tunnel closed to all traffic 1967/68 and the portal at Lodge sealed 1969.
At this time 1967/69 many of the properties at the Lodge had already been purchased by the company, those were demolished, therefore enabling even further expansion of both plateau and the bank towards the remaining Lodge village.
1969 work started on new administration offices, medical centre and canteen which was over the exit of the tunnel. A small section of this admin block and especially the canteen area was supported on the concrete pillars.
During course of excavations and land reclamation November 2004, portal of tunnel was exposed, members of the public were invited to walk through the tunnel Saturday 20th November before being fully demolished.
Thank you R. Parry for these notes.