The reinforced concrete deck span was revealed on 11 February when Merseylink’s movable scaffolding system (MSS) Trinity moved to its second casting position.
It is the first of 11 spans that will be cast by the MSS for the deck or “roadway” of the elevated approach viaduct on the north side of the River Mersey.
This span connects the beginning of the approach viaduct from the north abutment in Widnes to the first supporting pier.
The structure measures around 60 metres long and 18 metres wide. It is angled at five degrees to allow vehicles to travel safely around the curve of the approach road.
Getting the span ready involved construction teams pouring 1,146 cubic metres of concrete into the MSS non-stop over a period of 34 hours.
Declan Cannar, Merseylink’s general foreman, who is in charge of the MSS operation, said: “This is a real achievement for the project and a milestone that we’ve been looking forward to with anticipation. Our construction teams have put a considerable amount of time and effort into constructing this initial span so it’s great to see it finished. We’re now busy preparing the MSS so it’s ready to cast the next section.”
Councillor Rob Polhill, chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board and leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “This is such an exciting moment for the project and it is fantastic that we can now see a completed span of the approach viaduct. You can track Trinity’s journey via the live view webcam on the Mersey Gateway website and it’s well worth a look. This remarkable example of engineering is truly special and I can’t wait to see its progress over the coming months.”
The approach viaduct deck is being constructed in three phases. The deck spans are constructed first by the MSS then a deck slab is built on top of the span. Finally, the outer deck or “wings” are built by a wing traveller machine to provide the full six-lane width of the approach road.
The MSS has moved to its second casting position ready for work to begin on the next span, which will be cast in March.