Contractors World UK & Ireland Vol 6 No 1
The bright orange machine will be locked onto the
bridge piers and concrete will be poured into the mould
to cast a deck span. The equipment will then move along
to cast the next span.
This process will be repeated until all eleven bridge
piers on the north side have been connected, at which
point it will be dismantled and transported to Runcorn.
Contractors will then begin work on the nine piers of
the southern approach to the new bridge.
It will take a few weeks to construct each bridge span.
Around 23,000 m³ of concrete will be used to build the
19 spans, enough to fill nine Olympic sized swimming
As no UK companies currently have the skills and
expertise to design, build and operate a machine of this
specification, Merseylink had to look further afield.
Merseylink engineers worked with Norwegian com-
pany NRS to design the MSS. It took six months to refine
the design and a further five months for the machine to
be manufactured in China before being shipped to the
Portuguese subcontractor ConstruGomes, which
specialises in the operation of these machines world-
wide, will operate the MSS on
Richard Walker, Project
Director of Merseylink, said:
“The MSS was designed
specifically for the Mersey
Gateway Project. Only a
handful of companies in
the world have the
specialist skills to be able
to design, manufacture,
and operate construction equipment of this size
“Using international expertise of this cali-
bre has enabled us to create a unique piece of
equipment that is vital to the bridge building
The MSS is expected to be on site until autumn 2016.
Once the work on the approach viaducts is complete it
will be dismantled and recycled.
Assembly of giant form
traveller machines gets
underway in the Mersey
Merseylink’s construction teams have started to assem-
ble the special machines that will build the Mersey
Gateway bridge deck between the three bridge
The giant blue form traveller machines are being put
together at the north and south cofferdams in the
Mersey estuary. They will act as movable concrete
moulds for the bridge deck spans and work in a similar
Contractors World UK & Ireland