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