The Mersey Gateway Bridge has been awarded the IABSE Outstanding Structure Award for 2019, the highest distinction awarded by the association.
Described by the judges as "an elegantly integrated solution for a multi-span concrete cable stay bridge in which form follows function" the COWI-designed Mersey Gateway Bridge provides a much-needed new crossing of the river and is acting as a catalyst for growth in the region.
The IABSE Outstanding Structure Award (OStrA) is one of the highest distinctions awarded by IABSE, recognising the most remarkable, innovative, creative, or otherwise stimulating structures. Respect of the environment is also an important factor.
COWI's Paul Sanders, also Project Director for the Design Joint Venture, commented:
"Everyone involved with the design and construction the Mersey Gateway Bridge over the past 6 years knows that this is an incredibly special structure. But to have this officially recognised with such a prestigious award from IABSE, especially given the fierce competition from around the globe, is incredible. I'm extremely proud of the role our team played in designing and delivering this outstanding project."
Minimising the environmental impact
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.
The scheme was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen and the Duchess of Sussex in June 2018, at the culmination of three and a half years of construction work. Completed on time and under budget, the main crossing provides an iconic and landmark structure.