Civil Engineering students visit Mersey Gateway site
Students from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) have been getting some inspiration from the team behind the Mersey Gateway Project this week.
The new six-lane toll bridge over the Mersey between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes is the centrepiece of the Mersey Gateway Project.
The 40 Civil Engineering students from LJMU’s School of the Built Environment were invited to take part in a presentation and site visit. This explained first hand how the project team has approached and dealt with issues relating to feasibility studies, contaminated land and the options for materials that can be used to build the new bridge and how the project will ensure it is sustainable over its long term future.
As part of the tour the students were able to visit the Catalyst Trade Park in Widnes, where works are currently underway on behalf of the project team to address contaminated land which will allow the access roads to the new bridge to be built.
They walked along the route through the St Helens canal area and also viewed the Mersey Estuary from the special viewing platform at the Catalyst Science and Discovery Museum.
The visit follows on from a series of talks given to the University by members of the project team, and indicates the high levels of interest that engineers of the future are showing in Mersey Gateway
Although full construction works will not get underway until late in 2013, there are a number of advance works taking place on both sides of the river that will pave the way for the main construction project to start. Much of this involves cleaning up the land to ensure it is suitable for developing the access roads and supporting infrastructure required for the new bridge.
Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “It is great to see that the Mersey Gateway Project is really starting to capture the imagination of students and professionals in the region. This project is using state-of-the-art technology and best practice methods to deal with some of the complex issues we need to tackle to make it a reality so it’s great to share this information with the engineers of the future.”
Elaine Newall, Planning Liaison Officer with the Mersey Gateway Project team, who led the student visit, said: “We’re delighted to offer such an opportunity and be working so closely with the students from Liverpool John Moores University. Our team was very impressed with the detail of the questions from the students and their level of understanding about what we are trying to achieve here.”
Laura Menendez Gonzalez, a final year MEng Civil Engineering student who took part in the visit, said: “I’d like to thank everyone from the team for hosting us today. It is fascinating to see the levels of preparation and detail that go into a project like this, and it is very helpful for us as it gives the issue we are studying a real life dimension. We’re looking forward to seeing the project develop over the next few years.”
Fil Ruddock, LJMU Programme Manager for Civil Engineering, said: “It is always more interesting and engaging for students to be able to visit real life projects that demonstrate the issues they are studying, so we were delighted to get a close look at how the preparation for the Mersey Gateway Project is developing.”