- Silver Jubilee Bridge
bridge_name= The Silver Jubilee Bridge
caption= Inbound to
Liverpool John Lennon Airport
also_known_as= Runcorn Widnes Bridge
carries= road traffic and pedestrians
River Merseyat Runcorn Gap
maint= Halton Borough Council
compression arch suspended-deck bridge
mainspan= 330 meters
The Silver Jubilee Bridge is a
compression arch suspended-deck bridgebridge built in 1961between Runcornand Widnes(Widnes historically being part of Lancashire), which are both now part of ceremonial Cheshire. The A533 crosses the bridge and suffers heavily from congestion at peak hours especially when there are roadworks. It is a grade II listed building. [cite web |url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?pid=1&id=56066 |title=Images of England: Runcorn-Widnes Road Bridge |accessdate=2007-12-16 |publisher= English Heritage]
Ferry crossings have been recorded at this spot as early as the 12th Century.
Work on this bridge started in
1954and in 1961it was opened to the public by Princess Alexandra of Kent. The bridge was designed by Mott, Hay and Andersonand built by Dorman Long.
The original construction was a two lane road traffic bridge built to replace the
Runcorn Widnes Transporter Bridge.
1975the bridge was widened to four lanes to cope with increased traffic demands.
1977the bridge was renamed from the Runcorn Widnes Bridge to the Silver Jubilee Bridge in honour of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee.
The bridge spans the
Runcorn Gapwhich is a narrowing of the River Merseyand links the towns of Runcornand Widnes.
The bridge is the first over road crossing of the Mersey. There are two
tolltunnels closer to Liverpool. The bridge however is free to cross.
The 'Silver Jubilee Bridge' is built from approximately 6,000 tonnes of steel but in combination with all the other building materials including the vehicle deck and the approach viaducts its total weight approaches 10,000 tonnes. At the time of its construction it cost nearly £3 million to build.
The bridge is one of the largest of its kind worldwide with a main span of 330m and its crown being approximately 86m above sea level. It is the largest bridge of its type in the
United Kingdomand its proportions are approximately 2/3rds the size of the world renowned Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The bridge is lime green in colour and is continually being painted. It takes on average five years to paint, end to end. To fully repaint the bridge from scratch would use anything up to 50,000 litres of paint.
The bridge was constructed using suspended cantilever construction with the aid of temporary towers and ties, to support the structure and reduce the hogging moments at the bases during construction. This form of construction is avoided in many parts of the world where high winds are frequent, due to the risk of collapse during construction.
It has been confirmed that the bridge itself will become a toll bridge when the larger proposed crossing, the
Mersey Gateway, up-river near Fiddlers Ferry Power Stationcomes to fruition. This is because the government will not fund the whole cost of building the new bridge.
The local council, Halton Borough Council, after many years of study and consultation has now been given permission to build a new crossing. Funding for the Mersey Gateway of up to £209m will come from the government with the rest being sourced from the
The bridge features heavily in three popular TV series,
Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Drop Dead Gorgeousand Merseybeat.
* "The Bridging of Runcorn Gap", Halton Borough Council, 1978
* Starkey, H. F. "Old Runcorn", Halton Borough Council, 1990.
* Thompson, Dave. "Bridging the Mersey: A Pictorial History", European Library, Zaltbommel, 2000.
* Thompson, Dave. "Bridging Us Together: The Story of Runcorn-Widnes Bridge", Dave Thompson, 2001.
Listed buildings in Runcorn, Cheshire
* [http://www.merseycrossing.co.uk Merseycrossing]
* [http://www.halton-borough.gov.uk/schools/localstudies/bridge.htm The Silver Jubilee Bridge]
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