Manchester Ship Canal Bridge – Salford Gateway A57 Road Improvements Scheme

In December 2012, a joint venture of HOCHTIEF (UK) Construction and Buckingham Group Contracting was awarded the £30m A57 Road Improvement Scheme. The design and build infrastructure project included the construction of a bespoke 39m long lifting bridge crossing the Manchester Ship Canal. The bridge was designed to also accommodate a new light rail link (Manchester Metrolink) from Manchester city centre to Port Salford.

The Salford Gateway transformed a vacant degraded site, creating thousands of new jobs over its development lifespan and raising the City of Salford’s profile. A new road was built with a new lift bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal and provisions were made to allow for the future expansion of the public transport system.

During the design and build tender phase, Rendel was invited by the Buckingham Group to join its bid team, along with consulting engineers Cass Hayward. Rendel performed the mechanical and electrical (M&E) tender design for the bridge and subsequent construction phase M&E design following contract award.

Under a separate contract, Rendel performed a Category 3 independent check of the structural works for the new lift bridge which will carry dual two-lane carriageways and pedestrian and cycling facilities over the Manchester Ship Canal. The steel orthotropic deck is raised from four 35m high reinforced concrete towers and the structure is founded on continuous flight augered (CFA) piles located within bunds retained by sheet pile walls with deadman anchors.

The Category 3 check was carried out to relevant Eurocodes and included coffer dam and anchor wall, piles, pile caps, abutments, lift towers, orthotropic steel deck and miscellaneous items such as bearings, expansion joints and parapets. Full consideration was given to soil-structure interaction for the check of the foundations and retaining walls. The superstructure was analysed using a detailed finite element model and an extensive investigation into the fatigue performance of the deck was carried out.