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Mersey Gateway Bridge opens to traffic

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Marked by beautiful fireworks, the spectacular Mersey Gateway Bridge near Liverpool in the UK opened to traffic this weekend. The iconic three-pylon cable-stayed structure was designed by DISSING+WEITLING as sub-consultants to COWI. The bridge is a new landmark for the region, providing a much-needed new crossing of the river Mersey and acting as a catalyst for growth throughout the area.

Only a month after the opening of another DISSING+WEITLING-designed landmark bridge in the UK, Queensferry Crossing in Scotland, the 2.25-km long Mersey Gateway Bridge opened for traffic this weekend. The bridge has a unique design with three pylons of different heights, the highest measuring 125 meters. The 1-km long cable supported main bridge deck is constructed from pre-stressed and reinforced concrete suspended from the pylons via high strength steel cable stays. Travelers approaches the bridge from a curve on either side of the structure giving varying views of its unique design and maximising its visual impact. 

A benificent new landmark for the region

The design for the bridge was selected from a wide range of options for bringing the maximum benefits for users and local people as well as having a minimal impact on the estuary and its surrounding environment. The project also delivers transport and environmental benefits by reducing travel times across the river and by keeping traffic free-flowing. The bridge deck carries six lanes of traffic – three in each direction.

“We are very proud to have been part of this ambitious project. It has been a pleasure working with the Halton Borough Council and the Mersey Gateway Design Joint Venture,” says Jesper Henriksen, architect and partner at DISSING+WEITLING, and continues, “In our design for the bridge, our aim was to make a both elegant and spectacular landmark for the region. When you approach the bridge from either side, the way the enormous structure manifests itself harmoniously in the flat landscape is truly breathtaking.”

See the stunning video from the opening weekend below (courtesy of Youtube/Mersey Gateway).

One of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK

The Mersey Gateway Bridge is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK in recent years. It is one of the UK government’s most prioritised projects in their National Infrastructure Plan and it was recognised by KPMG as one of the "Top 100 Infrastructure Projects Around The Globe".

COWI led the Mersey Gateway Design Joint Venture – alongside AECOM, Fhecor and Eptisa, with architectural support by DISSING+WEITLING - which was engaged by the Merseylink Civil Contractors to deliver the design of the £1.9bn scheme. The construction costs of the bridge itself was £600m. COWI led the design for the bridge while AECOM led the design of the landside works including 7-km of new roads. 

Structural and geotechnical engineers from COWI worked closely with the Merseylink Civil Contractors, Merseylink Ltd (the DBFO consortium) and Halton Borough Council to develop a design that could be built quickly and operated and maintained as cost effectively as possible.