Milestone reached for Mersey Gateway Project as the first deck span for the elevated north approach viaducts has been completed.
The reinforced concrete deck span was revealed on 11 February, when Merseylink’s movable scaffolding system (MSS) moved to its second casting position. The MSS acts as a giant concrete mould specially designed for the Mersey Gateway project, and is being used to build two elevated approach viaducts over the Mersey estuary.
The project, which will be one of the largest infrastructure initiatives in the UK, will have a total of 11 spans that will be cast by the MSS, for the deck of roadway of the elevated approach viaducts on the north side of the River Mersey.
The structure measures around 60 metres long and 18 metres wide, angled at five degrees to allow vehicles to travel safely around the curve of the approach road.
The first span connects the beginning of the approach viaduct from the north abutment to Widnes, to the first supporting pier. A total of 1,146 cubic metres of concrete was poured into the MSS non-stop over a period of 34 hours, with construction teams working around the clock to get the span ready.
Declan Cannar, Merseylink’s General Foreman who is in charge of the MSS operation, said: “This is a real achievement for the project and a milestone that we’ve been looking forward to with anticipation. Our construction teams have put a considerable amount of time and effort into constructing this initial span so it’s great to see it finished. We’re now busy preparing the MSS so it’s ready to cast the next section.”
Councillor Rob Polhill, Chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board and Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “This is such an exciting moment for the project and it is fantastic that we can now see a completed span of the approach viaduct. You can track Trinity’s journey via the live view webcam on the Mersey Gateway website and it’s well worth a look. This remarkable example of engineering is truly special and I can’t wait to see its progress over the coming months.”
The approach viaduct deck is being constructed in three phases, with the MSS used to construct the deck spans, followed by a deck slab that is built on top of the span, and finally the outer deck is built by a wing traveller machine to provide the full six lane width of the approach road.
The next span will be cast in March