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The Mersey Gateway Bridge

Title: The Mersey Gateway Bridge
Name of fabricator: Cenpart 
Galvanized by: Joseph Ash Walsall
End client: Merseylink
Finish provided: Hot dip galvanizing
Size and amount of steel: 250 tonnes of steel

Project goals
The Mersey Gateway Bridge was built as part of the Mersey Gateway Project

This was a major civil engineering scheme to build a new six-lane cable-stayed toll bridge, and a 9-kilometre road network connecting the new bridge to the main motorway network in the North West of England.

Merseylink had the responsibility for the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of the new bridge and associated road infrastructure over a 30-year period.

What happened
Due to the large span of the bridge and its exposed nature, at the design stage there were concerns about the effect of high winds on crossing vehicles, particularly high-sided ones. A wind deflection barrier was therefore designed to withstand a once in 50-year wind event (based on historical data) and protect the crossing vehicles. 

Due to local prevailing winds the barrier was designed to be higher on one side (4m) than the other (2.5m), as it would be more susceptible to higher winds from that side.

To form the important wind deflection barriers, Cenpart was commissioned to fabricate the steel support posts and clamping brackets, that carry the C shaped Perspex horizontal members.

Cenpart chose Joseph Ash’s Walsall plant to hot dip galvanize the steel.

Hot dip galvanizing has been used worldwide for well over a century because it provides a long-life, low-maintenance corrosion protection which safeguards steel from atmospheric attack. This is incredibly important in huge scale engineering projects that need to provide safety standards for the public, as well as longevity for the structure being built.

Once fabricated, Joseph Ash Walsall collected the steel from Cenpart’s grit blasters. The posts required gritblasting to SA 2.5 standard as the specification for galvanizing called for a 140 micron nominal thickness coating. This was easily achieved, and Joseph Ash’s quality department recorded average pick up thickness throughout the contract to confirm the specification was met.

The 11000 loose clamping brackets were also spun galvanized by Joseph Ash Telford.

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