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Major Milestone for Mersey Gateway Bridge

Photo: Merseylink

Mersey Gateway Bridge, a new COWI-designed road bridge over the River Mersey, passed a significant milestone on Tuesday 27 June as the first key segment was cast.

The three remaining key segments will be cast over the summer and will complete the bridge deck on one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the UK – which is expected to open in autumn 2017.

Paul Sanders, Director at COWI said "The casting of the first key segment marks another major milestone for the project and for the COWI design team who should feel extremely proud. Throughout, the team has worked collaboratively with the contractor to deliver the design and we now look forward to the completion of the project."

Designed by COWI, the three-pylon cable-stayed bridge will be a landmark structure recognisable throughout the North West and beyond, providing a much-needed new crossing of the river and acting as a catalyst for growth in the region.

COWI leads the Mersey Gateway Design Joint Venture which was engaged by Merseylink Civil Contractors Joint Venture to deliver the design of the £1.86bn scheme.


A landmark design

The unique three-pylon cable-stayed bridge has pylons up to 125m high and is 2.250km long with a 1km long cable supported section.  The main bridge deck is constructed from pre-stressed and reinforced concrete suspended from the pylons via high strength steel cable stays.

The decks of the approach viaducts were constructed using two 1700 tonne, 157m long self-propelled launching gantries (movable scaffolding systems) enabling rapid and safe construction of a complete 70m long span in a single pour.

On the cable-stayed bridge, six smaller gantries (form travellers) were used to cast the deck in 6m long segments in a typical cycle of just five days.

The design for the bridge was selected from a wide range of options to maximise benefits for users and the local community while minimising the environmental impact on the estuary and its surrounding environment.

About the project

​The Mersey Gateway Project will be one of the largest infrastructure initiatives in the UK over the coming years. The Mersey Gateway Project has been identified as one of the UK government's Top 40 priority projects in the National Infrastructure Plan and it has been recognised by KPMG as one of the 'Top 100 infrastructure projects around the globe'.

Its features will include:

  • a 1,000m long cable stay bridge consisting of four spans supported from three towers in the estuary;
  • a unique design where the 80m high central tower will be shorter than the two outer towers, which will be 110m (north tower) and 125m (south tower);
  • a total length (including the bridge and approach viaducts) of 2.13km;
  • a deck carrying six lanes of traffic (three in each direction) with a speed limit of 60mph;
  • up to 30 supporting piers carrying it across the approach viaducts; and
  • a curved approach at each end of the bridge giving varying views of its unique design and maximising its visual impact.

You can find out more about the project at www.merseygateway.co.uk.

LAST UPDATED: 29.06.2017