Pictures: Mersey Gateway to hit peak activity

Aaron Morby 7 years ago

The massive Mersey Gateway bridge project is gearing up to reach peak construction this autumn with up to 1,000 people working on the project.

Presently there are around 700 workers on site with most coming from the local area.

Since beginning building the six-lane toll bridge across the River Mersey in May 2014, 38 different suppliers and sub-contractors based within a 30-mile radius in Halton have worked at the site.

Around 10% are foreign nationals drafted in by the Merseylink Consortium parent companies – Kier, Samsung, FCC – because of their experience delivering similarly complex and challenging projects elsewhere in the world.

Around 440 workers are employed by suppliers or subcontractors working on different elements of the site, and 250 staff are directly employed by the main contractors.

Mersey Gateway

Mersey Gateway

  • 1km long cable stay bridge consisting of four spans supported from three towers in the estuary
  • The 80m high central tower will be shorter than the two outer towers, which will be 110m (north tower) and 125m (south tower)
  • Total length, including the bridge and approach viaducts, runs to 2.13km
  • Deck will carry six lanes of traffic with a speed limit of 60mph
  • Up to 30 supporting piers carrying it across the approach viaducts
  • A curved approach at each end of the bridge will maximise its visual impact.

Mersey GatewayThree cofferdams in place to pour bridge pylons

Mersey gateway

Mersey gatewayAerial view of the north cofferdam

Mersey GatewayConcrete pour to start for second lift of the 125m south pylon this week.

Mersey Gateway
Fixing the steel reinforcement at the north cofferdam

Mersey Gateway
South cofferdam pylon base concrete pour

Mersey GatewayAssembly of self-launching movable scaffolding system to used to build elevated road viaducts over the salt marshes on both sides of the Mersey Estuary

2015-08-26 Mersey Gateway Bridge  Ground Progress1The MSS will be on site until autumn 2016. Once the work on the approach viaducts is complete it will be dismantled and recycled.

The Astmoor & Bridgewater viaduct piersThe Astmoor & Bridgewater viaduct piers by the Bridgewater Canal are now at their full height

One of the major local subcontractors for Merseylink on the project is Widnes based demolition specialists S Evans & Sons.

The company has undertaken the majority of the demolition work in both Runcorn and Widnes to clear land needed for the new bridge and the approach roads.

Sam Evans, Director of S Evans & Sons, said: “The scale of this project is enormous, and we’ve been working across a number of different sites on both sides of the river, demolishing buildings and clearing the areas to make way for the construction team.”

He added: “There is a strong environmental focus to this project. We have been instrumental in the processing and recycling 20,000 tons of concrete generated from the project.

“This final product has been utilised within the Merseylink project, further reducing the carbon footprint and the impact on the surrounding infrastructures due to the onsite re-use of the materials.”

Frodsham-based Mavis Plant Hire is another north west firm that is heavily involved in the project. The company is providing around 50 specialist excavation and dust suppression wagons and tractors to Merseylink, and has around 60 staff working on the site on a regular basis.

Since securing the contract with Merseylink last year, Mavis Plant Hire has invested around £2m in developing the business and created an extra 25 permanent jobs as a direct result of the Mersey Gateway Project.

Mark Avis, Managing Director of Mavis Plant Hire, said: “The environmental challenges, the scale of the work and the incredible location make this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on, and it has also allowed us to create new jobs and grow the business, which is fantastic.”

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