More road closures
AGIANT bridge-building machine constructing Halton’s new river crossing has finished work in Widnes to marking another important milestone for the Mersey Gateway Project.
Trinity is one of the infrastructure project’s two movable scaffolding systems (MSS) and had become a familiar sight on the north bank of the River Mersey.
The bright orange machine has now cast the final central span of the elevated north approach viaduct.
The machine – essentially a giant concrete mould – has constructed 11 road deck spans to create one seamless structure that sits on top of the supporting bridge piers which stretch across the saltmarsh in Widnes.
Approximately 14,200m3 of concrete has been used during construction of the central road deck section, measuring a total length of around 715m.
The MSS was specially made for the Mersey Gateway. While most machines of this kind can only build bridge spans of up to 60m, Trinity was specifically designed to be able to cast spans of up to 70m and made it the longest MSS in Europe.
With its work now done Trinity will ROAD closures will continue across Halton through January as work for the Mersey Gateway Project progresses.
The junction 12 exit road of the M56 in Runcorn heading eastbound towards Manchester will have off peak lane closures between 9.30am and 3.30pm until Friday, January 20.
The Weston Point Expressway southbound between the M56 junction 12 roundabout and Clifton roundabout is also affected.
In Widnes, weekend closures are planned for Victoria Road and Waterloo Road in both directions between Hutchinson Street and Ashley Way.
The route will be shut from 7.30pm on Friday, January 13, until 5am on Monday, January 16.
The closure will also be in place during the same times over the following weekend and a diversion will be in place. be dismantled, re-used and recycled.
It will take construction teams around two months to take the machine apart as they contend with approximately 1,200 components, 3,000 actual parts, and more than 60,000 bolts.
Merseylink’s project director Gareth Stuart said: “This is another great achievement for the project.
“We now have the central section of the road deck complete and expect the entire north approach viaduct to
The same stretch of Victoria Road and Waterloo Road will also experience overnight closures in both directions from 7.30pm until 5am from Monday, January 16, to Thursday, January 19.
Overnight lane closures be finished within the next couple of months.
“This key piece of road infrastructure is one of two elevated approach viaducts that will connect the new bridge to the main road networks in Widnes and Runcorn improving links between the two towns and the wider region.”
The approach viaduct decks are constructed in three phases.
Once the central spans have been constructed by the MSS, a deck slab is are also planned for the A533 Queensway in Widnes between Ditton junction and the Silver Jubilee Bridge.
The closures will be in place during 7.30pm to 5am from Monday, January 16, to Friday, January 20. built on top of the span, and finally the outer deck or ‘wings’ are built by a wing traveller machine to provide the full six-lane width of the approach road.
Merseylink’s general foreman in charge of the MSS, Declan Cannar, said it should take around eight weeks to dismantle Trinity before it is sent to Europe. He said: “The main part of the machine, the steel structure, will be transported to Slovakia, where it’s going to be used to build a bridge in ● Bratislava, while the casting cell will be recycled as this particular section was a bespoke piece specifically designed for the Mersey Gateway Bridge.”
Trinity has proven to be a hit in Halton with many people following the machine’s progress via the Mersey Gateway webcam.
Halton Borough Council leader Rob Polhill said: “Watching Trinity in action has been remarkable.
“To see the road deck of the north approach viaduct progress over the past 12 months has been a privilege.
“Not many people across the world are able to watch such a magnificent piece of engineering machinery in action. The images and footage of Trinity will certainly be enjoyed for generations to come.
“I look forward to now watching our second MSS, Webster, make its way toward the south side of the bridge.”
Work is continuing on the north approach viaduct as the wing traveller machine constructs the outer deck to form the outside road lanes of the structure.
The machine has built more than three quarters of the outer deck so far with construction of the viaduct anticipated to finish around the end of March.
The Mersey Gateway Bridge is on schedule to open this autumn.
The bridge building machine Trinity