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Major milestone reached for UK landmark bridge

Photo: cowi

​The Mersey Gateway Bridge, among the biggest infrastructure projects in the UK, has passed a significant milestone. Last week, the first key segment was cast for the COWI-designed road bridge over the River Mersey.


Last week, the Mersey Gateway project passed a huge milestone as the two sections of deck linking the North Approach Viaduct to the north pylon deck span were joined together.

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.

The three-pylon cable-stayed bridge will be a landmark structure providing a much-needed new crossing of the river and acting as a catalyst for growth in the region.

Hugh O’Connor, General Manager of Merseylink, said completing the first bridge key segment marked an historic moment for the project.

“We have now linked the sections of deck together by bridging the gap between the two decks with four steel restraint struts that resemble giant bolts and a concrete pour,” he said.

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.

Design minimises environmental impact

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.

Paul Sanders, Director at COWI said:

"Throughout, the team has worked collaboratively with the contractor to deliver the design and we now look forward to the completion of the project."

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 Mersey Gateway

​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'.

Key features 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 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.

Want to know more? www.merseygateway.co.uk.

LAST UPDATED: 04.07.2017