Mersey Gateway Bridge

Structural Designer

Merseylink Design Joint Venture: COWI (DJV lead), AECOM, Fhecor, Eptisa

Client Name

Mersey Gateway Crossings Board


North West England, UK

Merseylink Civil Contractors JV: Samsung / FCC / Kier

Dissing + Weitling

COWI - Lead design joint venture partner responsible for design of cable stayed bridge and approach
Fhecor Ingenieros Consultores - DJV partner responsible for detailed design of approach viaduct
Aecom - DJV partner responsible for highway design
Eptisa - DJV partner responsible for drainage design



The 2250m long cable stayed bridge and approach viaducts were designed for rapid construction and minimal maintenance.

Construction of the approach viaducts adopted an innovative Moveable Scaffold System (MSS) and a rapid cycle time was established for construction of the balanced cantilevers of the cable stayed deck built using three sets of formwork travellers and extensive prefabrication. 

Judge's comment:

One of the largest civil infrastructure projects in the UK for many years, the Mersey Gateway Bridge uses a triple-pylon cable-stayed concrete structure with integral multiple-span approach viaducts to provide a much-needed north-south link between the boroughs of Halton and the central Liverpool City Region. 

The bridge represents the ‘next step’ development of established technologies but is also uniquely innovative in its own right in several ways.

The judges were impressed by the use of the modified self-launching moving scaffold systems, each weighing around 1,350 tonnes, which allowed the progressive casting of the 70m approach viaduct spans, thus delivering substantial cost and programme savings.

Impressive too was the use of travelling ‘C’-shaped formwork, which allowed access to the upper surface of the deck modules, as these were progressively cast above the Mersey in a balanced sequence to either side of the central stay pylons. 

Advanced material technology, coupled with complex thermal and creep analysis allowed the approach viaducts and main river crossing spans to be cast in one uninterrupted length of 2.25km without intermediate movement joints. 

Exemplary collaborative integration between the client, design and construction team members, using a unique PPP procurement strategy, delivered sufficient cost savings to enable the crossing to be toll-free for borough residents. 

Contact us

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7235 4535
Email: [email protected]

Social media


© Copyright 2022 - The Institution of Structural Engineers, 47-58 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS, United Kingdom
Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales No. 233392 and in Scotland No. SC038263