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Precast Solution for

Mersey Link Bridge

Abutments & Piers

Aarsleff has been awarded the contract for piling works on two sections –

Ditton Junction Bridge and Widnes Victoria Loops Viaduct – of the major

infrastructure Mersey Gateway project.


iling works on the Ditton Junction Bridge and Widnes Victoria Loop Viaduct sections

commenced 1 June 2015. However, Aarsleff has been involved in the Mersey Gateway

project for over 9 months, undertaking an intense programme of test piling (com-

pleted Dec 14 / Jan 15) and assisting in a very specific technical design solution.

This was a solution unique within the UK driven market which Aarsleff could provide due

to the European group capabilities. The use of ‘raked’ precast piles for the bridge abutment

structures is also significant and delivers numerous benefits to the project.

This type of piled solution is not common within

the UK civils market; this is an approach they want

to challenge on future projects.

To satisfy the design specification, the piling

contractor is using a Centrum cage former, which

is used widely on the continent, but for the first

time in the UK, to meet with the unique specifica-

tion demands set by the designer.

With Aarsleff operating in Europe, it has a

common operating system within its Centrum

pre-cast pile factories, which allows this unique

approach to a solution to be adopted across the


The type of cages being fabricated for use

within the 350 mm square sections are unique

and require the company’s ‘A Class’ mechanical

locking joint to ensure a robust quality product

Contractors World UK & Ireland Vol 6 No 1


way to the Movable Scaffolding System,

which is building the elevated approach


Once built, the machines will be lifted

by a hydraulic system and fixed into place

at either side the bridge pylons to cast

the first part of the deck.

The form travellers will then separate

and move to the next span position, and

the process will be repeated, allowing

the deck to ‘grow’ from each side of the

pylon until the main bridge deck is


After the third deck segment has been cast from the

bridge pylon, it will then be

connected to a stay cable and the upper pylon for


Three pairs of form travellers are being assembled;

one pair for each bridge pylon. The machines are ex-

pected to start work in spring of this year.

Contractors World UK & Ireland