As two young Halton friends stood side by side to cut the ribbon, they shared the joy of marking the completion of the main deck on Mersey Gateway Bridge. Candice Steadman and classmate Mia Lloyd-Bell, Year 6 pupils in Runcorn’s All Saints Primary School donned high safety gear ahead of the historic milestone on the bridge’s construction.
These two young ladies enjoyed the company of Merseylink’s General Manager Hugh O’Connor and Mersey Gateway project director Gareth Stuart in addition to Halton Borough Council leader Rob Polhill and Halton’s mayor and mayoress Joan and Alan Lowe. This moment in time was witnessed by many, just days before the final concrete pour on the gap between the central and southern pylon decks. This means that the bridge not comfortably spans fully across River Mersey.
The deck is one kilometre long, and it runs across the river to connect to the rest of the Mersey Gateway infrastructure through its viaducts
The Inauguration of the Deck Completion
There was an event dabbed Bridge Art Competition, whereby children were invited to share their views on what the Mersey Bridge would mean to them. Many children shared their views, some saying that it would mean less congestion, and consequently cleaner air.
Mia Lloyd, the winner of the competition, gained the honour of cutting the ribbon, thanks to a painting she submitted with the help of Andrew Bainbridge, her school’s Assistant Headteacher. Other youngsters from Widnes’ Lunts Heath Primary School will be honoured with a trip to the bridge in September, thanks to their creation of the winning bridge model.
When Does The Mersey Gateway Bridge Resume Operations?
According to the official spokesperson, there’s still a lot of finishing tasks that need to be done before the bridge is opened for public use this autumn. The completion of the deck symbolically marks the first full crossing of River Mersey since the 56-year-old Silver Jubilee Bridge was completed.
The iconic design of the Mersey Gateway features three pylons of differing heights, with the tallest being the south pylon which stretches about 125M above River Mersey.
Close to 90,000 cubic meters of concrete was used to construct the North Approach Viaduct, the bridge and the South Approach Viaduct. They collectively span 2.5km in length.
How The Runcorn Bridge’s Construction Impacted the Locals
According to Bainbridge Andrew, the Assistant Head Teacher at All Saints School, the bridge gives the children the opportunity to be part of a historical occasion, something that will stay with them for eternity.
Over the past few years, the children in the areas surrounding the bridge watched in complete awe as it was built out of the riverbed! It was a real inspiration to them, with a good percentage of them dreaming of becoming architects and civil engineers.
As Hugh O’Connor congratulated the winners of the Bridge Art Competition, he ascertained the importance of having the children involved in the project right from the beginning. He said that the competition entries were proof of the creativity and passion the new Runcorn bridge stirred up in the children across Halton and surrounding areas.
Cllr Polhill also praised the children’s entries as it showed the kids had taken a major interest in construction and engineering since the project commenced. He couldn’t fail to notice how this legacy shaped the ambitions of the children. The kids are now interested in technology, engineering and construction, an industry that was a preserve of a few.
The tolls for crossing the Mersey Gateway Bridge has been set at £2.00 per crossing. You can pre-register for your Runcorn Bridge tolls and get a discount, this automates the crossing of the Runcorn Bridge by means of a reader that is placed in your car window, just under your mirror.