Mersey Gateway Bridge set to open early

Aaron Morby 5 years ago
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The new Mersey Gateway Bridge could open to traffic as early as mid-September after the construction consortium building the new bridge re-assessed the programme for the remaining works.

This will mean the six-lane toll bridge project is opening ahead of time and within budget after a three-and-a-half-year construction programme that has seen major roads across Widnes and Runcorn re-routed and improved.

The achievement will be a major coup for the bridge building consortium which consists on Kier, Korean giant Samsung and Spanish contractor FCC.

It secured the £600m contract by switching from the original reference design based on steel fabrication to a reinforced concrete deck cast in-situ, saving “tens of millions of pounds”.

Once the new 1km bridge opens, tolls will be in place immediately.

Hugh O’Connor, General Manager of Merseylink, said: “All along we said we’d be opening in autumn 2017 and it is great to be able to keep that promise. We’ll update everyone with a firmer date as we get closer to opening but we’re confident that we will open by mid-October at the latest.

“Much of our final work is weather dependent, but we will be able to give a definitive date around five days ahead of opening.”

Mersey Gateway construction over three and a half years

Mersey gateway

View from south pylon looking across shorter central pylon

Mersey gateway

Final concrete pours before bridge connection

Mersey gateway

The wing traveller carrying out concrete pours to form the outer segments of the approach roads

Mersey gateway

Each stay cable contains 90 strands

Mersey gateway

The cables are anchored into delta frames inside the bridge deck.

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View from inside the bridge deck, looking at the delta frames which anchor the stay cables

Mersey gateway

Many stay cables are 200m long

Mersey Gateway

Stayed cable being installed on south pylon deck segment

Mersey gateway

Movable Scaffold System, known on site as Webster, ready for the next concrete pour

Merseygateway

Unique design takes shape where the 80m high central tower is shorter than the two outer towers, which are 110m (north tower) and 125m (south tower)

Mersey gateway

MSS Webster was designed to construct curving southern approach road

Merseygateway

Team preparing for concrete pour on Movable Scaffolding System Webster specially designed and built to construct the curved viaducts on the Mersey Gateway’s south approach viaduct.

Mersey gateway

The Mersey Gateway route spans three canals and the Mersey estuary

Pylons on the rise in May 2016

Pylons on the rise in May 2016

Mersey gateway

Mersey gateway

Mersey Gateway

Central pylon starts to take shape

Mersey gateway

Trestle bridge and cofferdam in place

Mersey gateway

First pylon cofferdam complete in December 2014

The bridge will use a free flow camera tolling system which will keep traffic moving quickly across the route. .

The Silver Jubilee Bridge will be closed for around 12 months of major refurbishment work, but will remain open to cyclists and pedestrians during this time.

There will be about a year’s worth of landscaping and other work to be finished off after the bridge opens, including the removal of the temporary trestle bridge across the river.

 

 

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