Significant milestone reached as last beams installed on major section of the Mersey Gateway project
Construction teams are preparing to install the last of 155 giant concrete beams at the Astmoor Bridgewater Viaduct.
The Astmoor Bridgewater Viaduct is a major structure that is being created to connect the new bridge to the Central Expressway in Runcorn. The beams will support the reinforced concrete road deck.
This new viaduct is a key part of the new 9.2km link road, diverting the majority of traffic across the new Mersey Gateway Bridge to relieve congestion on the Silver Jubilee Bridge.
The last beam is expected to be installed today (March 29) depending on the weather, and will be the 239th beam to be put in place across the project.
Each beam on the Astmoor Bridgewater Viaduct measures around 40m long, and weighs up to 110 tonnes – equivalent to 83 medium-sized family cars.
In total 5,885m of beams have now been installed at the Astmoor Bridgewater Viaduct, with a total combined weight of some 16,177 tonnes.
Each beam is installed by a 650-tonne crawler crane, and requires pinpoint accuracy as they are lowered into place.
Hugh O’Connor, General Manager of Merseylink, said the installation marked another major milestone for the project.
“As we draw closer to completion we’re passing more and more of these vitally important landmarks. Earlier this month we completed 50% of the main bridge deck, and this week we’re celebrating completing the final beam installation,” he said.
“The skill it takes to position these huge pieces of reinforced concrete into place is immense and I would like to thank all of the construction crews and crane operators who have helped us reach this milestone.”
As well as being used at Astmoor Bridgewater Viaduct, huge beams have also been installed for road elevations at the Ditton, Widnes Loops and Lodge Lane junctions.
Gareth Stuart, Merseylink’s Project Director, said: “Improvements to local highways are a key feature of this project.
“Completing this stage of the project is a huge achievement and brings us closer to finishing.
“When complete, the new link road will provide a seamless route across the new bridge making it quicker and easier for people to travel between Runcorn, Widnes and beyond.”
Councillor Rob Polhill, leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “This is a hugely exciting moment for the project.
“The bridge deck is over halfway finished, and the completion of the final beam installation means the new road network is taking shape.”
For up-to-date information about road openings and closures visit the Down Your Street section of the Mersey Gateway website.