Engineering analysis and design software
Bridge design and engineering

Case Study

Mersey Gateway Bridge

  • Analysis of an illustrative design of a 3-tower cable stayed bridge
  • Line beam modelling to investigate global effects
  • Staged construction analysis of a single tower to prove the design

Ramboll was appointed Lead Consultant and Project Manager by Halton Borough Council to carry out a route identification study and illustrative design for a new crossing of the River Mersey in the UK. To assist with its development of the proposed new bridge Gifford used LUSAS bridge analysis software to carry out analytical studies to prove its draft design.


The Mersey Gateway Bridge is part of a 431million project to ease significant congestion currently experienced by residents of the towns of Runcorn and Widnes in Cheshire, UK, and to improve the resilience of the regional road network. The existing Silver Jubilee Bridge which crosses the River Mersey and connects the two communities is used by over 80,000 vehicles every weekday - ten times the number it was originally designed for. The proposed 2.3km long new toll bridge will provide a landmark new structure carrying 3 lanes of traffic in each direction. Whilst the detailed cosmetic design for the new bridge is yet to be finalised, the illustrative design is based on a cable-stay structure similar to the second Severn Crossing, also in the UK, but with 3 towers - the central one being some 20m shorter than the 135m high outer towers. Three piers in the river carry the 195m, 300m, 300m and 215m spans over the naturally occurring deeper water channels.


Using LUSAS, Gifford created a line beam model of the entire crossing to investigate global effects. 

A detailed staged construction model of one tower used activation and deactivation techniques to model the process of building the deck, installing and stressing the stays. 

Overall, modelling and analysis with LUSAS helped Gifford to derive and confirm suitable section sizes and prove the capability of its draft design.


Other LUSAS Bridge case studies:


Software Information

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  Choosing Software
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  Software Options
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  Additional Information
green_arrow.gif (94 bytes) Linear and nonlinear buckling analysis
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green_arrow.gif (94 bytes) Post-tensioning
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Any modelling and analysis capabilities described on this page are dependent upon the LUSAS software product and version in use.
Last modified: April 23, 2018.