A year of
SIGNIFICANT transformations to the road network across Runcorn and Widnes took place this year for the Mersey Gateway Project.
Construction consortium Merseylink is building the new crossing for Halton over the River Mersey.
The new six lane toll bridge is on schedule to open in autumn 2017.
Cable stay bridge pylons are complete and the deck over the river with its supporting cables are now growing in length daily.
Aerial photographs taken in December 2015 and again this month of several locations have illustrated the borough’s changing landscape as the project has progressed.
In Widnes, Ditton Flyover is now gone and a new junction is being developed which will allow traffic to head into the town and connect to both the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge.
Images have been taken looking south east along the line of the main route from Liverpool to the new bridge.
A section of road bridge crossing Ditton Junction that will carry traffic to and from the new bridge towards Liverpool can be seen.
A movable scaffold system (MSS) called Trinity has finished work on a north approach viaduct across the saltmarsh in Widnes.
The wing traveller which builds the outer parts of the road deck is following on quickly behind as planned.
The picture from December 2015 shows Trinity being assembled and getting ready to start her journey at the north side of the St Helens Canal.
For the bridge’s main section, pylons which were just starting to emerge from their foundations in 2015 are now at full height.
Work has now started on building the bridge deck outwards from each pylon and installing the stay cables.
The temporary trestle bridge and access roads across the saltmarsh which run alongside the main route and the cofferdams beneath it will be removed shortly after the new bridge opens.
A 125m high south pylon has risen up from the Mersey estuary, but in 2015 had hardly begun to appear above the surface of the bridge deck.
New stay cables are being added every week as construction work continues to gather pace.
The north and central pylons are also now at full height with work on installing stay cables also continuing at a pace at the north pylon.
A new look Bridgewater Junction is now partially open in Runcorn.
It will connect the Bridgewater and Daresbury Expressways to the Central Expressway and the new route.
The new bridge will cross the Astmoor Industrial Estate with the MSS Webster visible in the picture taken this month.
The Lodge Lane Junction in Runcorn is still undergoing changes.
The old circular link taking traffic from Weston Link to the Southern Expressway has been demolished with tight bends to be removed and a free-flowing approach to the new bridge created in its place.
Construction of the new Lodge Lane Bridge is progressing with beams all in place and is expected to re-open in the spring.
Demolition of the Rocksavage West Bridge at the Weston Point Junction will start on Monday, January 9.
A new ‘hamburger’ junction is in place at junction 12 of the M56.
It will provide a through route
Above, Junction 12 of the M56 in 2016, and, left, a year ago