Concrete pour begins in Widnes for Mersey Gateway

Merseylink’s 1,700-tonne bridge-building machine, known as Trinity, has started work in Widnes on the first section of a viaduct that will lead to the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

Trinity is a movable scaffolding system, specially designed and built to construct the curved viaducts leading to the Mersey Gateway Bridge, the centerpiece of the Mersey Gateway project.

See below for video on how Trinity operates

Trinity began work today in Widnes with a concrete pour for the first deck section of the northern approach viaduct, which will lead to the new bridge.

Around 160 truckloads of concrete are being poured into the 1,170 cubic metre mould over a period of around 24 hours.

Trinity will be on site for the next 14 months.

The machine will act as a giant concrete mould, known as formwork, for the central deck of the north and south elevated approach viaducts, which will be constructed in sections of approximately 70m in length. It will take a few weeks to build each of the 19 spans, with this element of work due for completion in March 2017.

The process involves locking Trinity onto the bridge piers and then pouring concrete into the mould to create a deck span. Once the first span is complete, the equipment will then move along via hydraulic jacks to create the next deck span, and the process begins again.

Hugh O’Connor, general manager for Merseylink, said: “This is a hugely exciting time for our construction teams. An enormous amount of effort has gone into preparing and testing Trinity ahead of today’s concrete pour. We are delighted to achieve this important milestone and get this next phase of the project underway.”

Trinity is being operated by MSS specialists ConstruGomes, working alongside Merseylink engineers.

Once Trinity has constructed the central part of the deck, a machine called a wing traveller will then be used to build the outer part of the north approach viaduct. The wing traveller is currently being assembled on site.

Work started on the Mersey Gateway Crossing in 2015, which will deliver a six-lane bridge designed to improve links between Runcorn and Widnes on the route into Liverpool, easing congestion on the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge.

The bridge is being built by the Merseylink consortium, which includes Kier, FCC, Bilfinger, Samsung CT and Macquarie. Merseylink was awarded the contract to design, build, finance, maintain and operate the bridge in June 2013.

The new bridge is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2017.

Mersey Gateway

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and how are the ships going to clear the bridge en route to and from Port Runcorn Salford Irlam and Carrington? JOINED UP THINKING MISSING OR MORE SHORT TERMISM.

By don draper

Don the ships will not effect the canal it’s the Liverpool port that handle the largest ships in the world, and then Liverpool distributes cargo through road, rail and smaller vessels along the canals.

By Dave

i.e. the bridge is also within the Liverpool City Region .

By Dave

Teleportation Don. All we need is a power source that produces 1.21 gigawatts and the ships to make 88 mph then all will be good!

By Dr Emmett Brown

Quite an interesting project, although around 20 to 25 years late. Wonder why we seem to only eventually get round to these things after years of dithering. No doubt the usual snotty-nosed dignitaries will be queuing up for photographs on opening day. Those clowns wouldn’t know the first thing about the engineering challenges that will have been overcome to make this scheme happen; the complex structural analysis, the advanced materials engineering, the programme management on world-leading project controls software.

By Ojoo Knowtiss

Liverpool City Region has had to fight tooth and nail to get the government to agree to get this built, and it’s only happening because it will be 70% funded through tolls, including being levied on the existing crossing. Certainly our dignitaries deserve to be there to open it. I imagine Osborne will probably be busy in Manchester on the day it opens anyway, so I think it would be a moot point about national politicians having their photos taken with it.

By Mike

This is a vital link for Liverpool, it’s airport, south Liverpool industry and commerce, and the wider Liverpool city region and north west. A small Council like Halton is truly to be congratulated for seeing this through. And it comes as the wider Liverpool area finally pulls together as the vibrant city around the estuary it will surely become. Liverpool’s geography is very much later like San Francisco’s and like in San Franciso the river crossings will finally be integrated and coordinated through Merseytravel.


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