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Contractors World UK & Ireland Vol 6 No 1

21

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

pools.

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

UK.

Portuguese subcontractor ConstruGomes, which

specialises in the operation of these machines world-

wide, will operate the MSS on

site.

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

and scale.

“Using international expertise of this cali-

bre has enabled us to create a unique piece of

equipment that is vital to the bridge building

process.”

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

estuary

Merseylink’s construction teams have started to assem-

ble the special machines that will build the Mersey

Gateway bridge deck between the three bridge

pylons.

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