Gateway Bridge in Mersey Continues as Planned – with Substantial Changes in the Works

Work on the Gateway Bridge in Mersey began in the middle of 2014, and those involved are happy to report that work continues as planned. The gateway bridge, which spans a total of 2.3 kilometres, is one of the signature projects undertaken in this area near Liverpool, with the structure making use of cable stays and featuring a total of three towers. 

The Gateway Bridge in Mersey continues to be built as planned

The Gateway Bridge in Mersey continues to be built as planned

The gateway bridge will go across the Mersey River, known for its considerable mud flats, and will be bringing the towns of Widnes and Runcorn together. As mentioned, the gateway bridge is 2.3 kilometres long, and this already includes the viaducts approaching the bridge on each side. The bridge over the river will have a span of one kilometre. 

 

Details on the construction

The main deck of the bridge will be constructed from reinforced concrete, and there will be a central tower on the bridge which is 80 metres high, shorter than the other two towers located at the bridge’s outer portions, with the northernmost tower measuring 110 metres and the southernmost tower measuring 125 metres.

The deck of the bridge will be comprised of a total of six main lanes, with three lanes in one direction and three more lanes in another. The speed limit for the deck will be at 95 kilometres. As many as 30 piers will be constructed to support the viaducts approaching the gateway bridge.

The bridge is estimated to be used by as much as 80% of the road users in the area, although the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge, which was opened as far back as 1961, will still be available for use by cyclists and pedestrians after it undergoes refurbishment when the Mersey Gateway opens.

 

Steady progress

Since the beginning of the project in the middle of 2014, two access roads have been set up across the marshes. Another trestle-style bridge (also temporary) which is 9 metres in width was also built to serve as a platform for access for the teams involved in the construction of the three towers and pylons.

Extensive work has already been done on the deck of the bridge, with innovative processes being used. The work on the deck is expected to be completed in the summer of next year. As for the viaduct construction, the companies involved have already been assembling a MSS, or Movable Scaffold System, which is basically a system used for building the bridge’s elevated viaduct on the south side. This viaduct will connect the bridge with Runcorn’s industrial area and port. Once the MSS is completely assembled, it will be 157 metres in length, eight metres in height, and 22 metres across. It’s also worth noting that other similar machines can only build spans of 60 metres, maximum. The Mersey Gateway bridge MSS was specifically-made to cast bridge spans of as much as 70 metres. 

Posted on 30 Jan 2017 in News

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