WORK on the giant north approach viaduct which will carry 60,000 vehicles a day over the new Mersey Gateway has finished.

It took a colossal 18,400 cubic metres of concrete to fill it.

Engineers and construction teams have worked around the clock for the past three years to complete the structure.

Almost 200 concrete pours were needed to create the outer deck wings, infil the rib and complete the deck.

This meticulous operation requires a massive amount of planning, timing and co-ordination to ensure the concrete sets evenly.

A programme of extensive finishing work is now underway, including water-proofing the deck, installing fascias along its sides and laying a road surface.

Hugh O’Connor, general manager for Merseylink Construction Joint Venture said: “This is another big achievement for the project.

“While the main viaduct is built, it has to be properly finished before it can carry traffic.

“When complete we expect 60,000 vehicles to use the bridge every day, or nearly 22 million vehicles every year.

“This volume of traffic puts a huge demand on the road surface and structure of the viaduct, so it’s important finishing works are completed to the absolute highest standards.

“We’re working hard to complete these elements and remain on target to open the bridge this autumn.

“The work required in conducting concrete pours is highly technical and I would like to thank everyone involved for their contribution.

“Each of them is playing a vital part in bringing Halton’s iconic new bridge to life.”

A range of specialist equipment, including a 280-tonne wing traveller machine was used to construct the viaduct.

The viaduct runs across the Widnes saltmarsh and will incorporate the slip roads for the entry and exit approaches to the Widnes side of the Mersey Gateway bridge.

Structural work on the south approach viaduct is expected to be finished in the summer.