Mersey Gateway Bridge opens to traffic

Tardis bridges the gap

Mersey gateway bridge

You may have seen on the news, the fireworks and celebration heralding the opening of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge over the weekend of the 14th of October.

Tardis is proud to have been involved in the Mersey Gateway Project  from the outset, servicing the many toilet blocks on the site and with a huge work force, that’s a lot of toilets we looked after six days a week.

The project itself is a pretty impressive feat. Firstly, they built a bridge to build a bridge. A low concrete structure, with a swing mechanism to let the boats through.

From here, the mighty pillars were constructed.  We popped up to see how things were doing back in the spring of 2016 and saw for ourselves the breath-taking scale of this operation.

Spring forward to September 2017 and we paid another visit and boy, how things have changed.

new and old

There’s now a near completed bridge over the Mersey with three huge towers which are three different heights of 80, 110 and 125 metres.  The total length of the bridge including the approach roads is 2130 metres, with 1000 of those being over the river below.

A couple of weeks ago, it was indeed our privilege to visit with all areas access the project and take a few piccies of our own. We also had a chat with one of the chief engineers for whom this is his 52nd bridge construction project.

Our Health & Safety briefing included such tips as don’t get run over and don’t fall off the bridge. Fortunately neither calamity befell us and we spent a morning in sheer awe of how a structure this size takes shape.

Mersey Gateway Bridge

Underneath the mighty bridge

We’re told it’s a similar design to the newer of the two Severn bridges, though this one has three towers.

As our pictures show, those things that look like cables from a distance are considerably more robust, nay chunky.

Tardis Tanker on the bridge

A regular sight on the bridge even before it opened

Road signs were being fitted to the gantries and whilst major construction has now finished, there is still a lot going on.

For those not familiar with the location, the bridge links the good folk of Runcorn with those of Widnes. There already is a bridge, in the shape of the Silver Jubilee bridge, built in 1961 and later given that name in 1977 to mark the silver jubilee of the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

This attractive structure visually similar to the Sydney harbour bridge in Australia, will be closing for a year for maintenance upon opening of its larger neighbour, then will reopen as a working bridge after that.

Video taken by DJ Ian Entertainments, posted to You Tube

Glad we took that tip about not falling in the river.  As we were crossing for the final time, we witnessed the swift incoming tide first hand and indeed, it’s a strong tide.

We think you’ll agree from our pictures, that both structures old and new are pleasing on the eye.

And as another long running project for Tardis winds down, we’d like to congratulate the builders on such a magnificent project and many enjoyable journeys to those who’ll be crossing the bridge.

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