Mersey Gateway

Movable scaffolding system on Mersey Gateway
Merseylink Consortium
north west England
May 2015
Mar 2018

VGC provided local people to work on the Mersey Gateway Project, a major scheme to build a new six-lane toll bridge over the Mersey river.

Opened in October 2017, the bridge links the towns of Runcorn and Widnes and relieves the congested Silver Jubilee bridge. The project is the centrepiece of a new link road connecting the national motorway network in north Cheshire with Merseyside.

VGC supplied various categories of supervisors, labour and trades resources to the project including groundworkers, carpenters, slinger signallers, crane supervisors and foremen.

VGC’s team was recruited locally, in line with our policy of having workers commute for under 45 minutes to reach our projects. Most of our people lived less than five miles away. By recruiting local people, we help to support local retailers because they shop locally, and there’s less impact on the regional transport infrastructure – and on the environment.

The project workforce was nearly 1,000-strong at peak. Work started in May 2014 with temporary access roads across the saltmarshes on either side of the river, and a 1,000 metre long temporary trestle bridge to give access for construction work.

The 2.3km long bridge is a cable-stayed structure with three towers. The main bridge deck is built of reinforced concrete and the spans are supported by steel cables attached to towers.

Temporary trestle bridge on Mersey Gateway
A 1,000m long temporary trestle bridge provided access.

Three temporary cofferdams created temporary watertight enclosures. They were formed by driving steel piles into the riverbed in two concentric rings and then filling the space between them with approximately 8,000 tones of local sand and stone. Steel reinforcing bars were fixed into the concrete base of each cofferdam to build the foundations for the bridge pylons. For more information, go to the Mersey Gateway website.

Cofferdam on Mersey Gateway
The movable scaffolding system acts as a giant concrete mould for the viaduct spans. Around 23,000 cubic metres of concrete will build 19 spans of the elevated approach viaducts.
The movable scaffolding system acted as a giant concrete mould for the viaduct spans. Around 23,000 cubic metres of concrete was used to build 19 spans of the elevated approach viaducts.