THE final beams have been installed on a major new route to link Runcorn with the Mersey Gateway.

Construction teams fitted the last of 155 giant concrete beams at the Astmoor Bridgewater viaduct last Wednesday.

This major structure will link the new bridge to the Central Expressway in Runcorn.

Each beam is around 40 metres long and weighs up to 110 tonnes.

Altogether, 5,885 metres of beams have now been installed on the viaduct weighing a total of 16,177 tonnes.

It requires pinpoint accuracy using a 650-tonne crawler crane to lower each one into position.

Hugh O’Connor, general manager of Merseylink, said: “The skill it takes to position these huge pieces of reinforced concrete into place is immense.

“I would like to thank all of the construction crews and crane operators who have helped us reach this milestone.”

Huge beams have also been installed for road elevations at the Ditton, Widnes Loops and Lodge Lane junctions.

Halton Council leader Councillor Rob Polhill said: "This is a hugely exciting moment for the project.

“The bridge deck is over halfway finished and the completion of the final beam installation means the new road network is taking shape.”