Widnes to Runcorn, UK

Mersey Gateway

State-of-the-art CU Phosco luminaires and floodlights light the way for the 70,000 vehicles crossing the magnificent Mersey Gateway every day.

The 2.2 km ‘bridge to potential’, with 8.5 km total infrastructure, spans the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal between Runcorn and Widnes. Built to relieve constant traffic congestion on the old Runcorn bridge, the Mersey Gateway opened in October 2017.

We were involved for the final 18 months of the 3-year construction project when the order was placed with the project’s electrical contractor, WT Jenkins Ltd, based in Merseyside. The Merseylink Consortium (MC), made up of Kier Construction, FCC and Samsung, was the main contractor.

Our deliveries were called off in stages as each section of the bridge was built. We supplied over 900 luminaries, the bulk of which were 865 P850s LED luminaires and 60 FL800R LED floodlighting systems, with WB855 gearboxes.

The P850 was chosen earlier in the project when Imtech wanted to put P850 forward as part of their bid. The P850’s longevity and lower maintenance put it ahead of the Cosmopolis originally considered by the MC. Contractors changed (to URS), the bridge design changed, but the P850 remained the luminaire of choice.

Following technological advancements at CU Phosco Lighting, we proposed adding the new FL800R to the design. Using the FL800R in the toll booth areas gave the best uniformity across the lanes and extra light at the vehicle number plate recognition camera areas. The FL800Rs were provided with WB855 gearboxes to give a smooth looking aesthetics on side entry columns.

While there were several changes to construction plans and deadlines, our flexible approach let us respond fast. Our quick turnaround made sure other contractors met their targets, especially when changes were made just before the opening date.

For example, we colour matched our lanterns to a special silver paint finish selected by the MC as an afterthought for the aluminium poles. Our collaboration with column suppliers Sapa Poles (now Hydro) ensured the columns and lanterns were fit for purpose, and on time.

A valuable working relationship between CU Phosco Lighting area sales manager Stephen Hart and WT Jenkins Ltd contracts manager Mark Sherrington meant design changes and technical information could be shared and action taken quickly.

As usual it has been a pleasure to work alongside CU Lighting in providing the luminaires for the Mersey gateway bridge.

From the offset we kept in close contact through all the early proceedings and site meetings, keeping them informed of the likely changes and alterations and likewise CU provided us with all the necessary technical information promptly as required.

Once underway myself as contracts manager kept in close contact with CU Phosco’s local Area Sales Manager, Stephen Hart, and we had regular meetings and updates for the schedule of products to arrive on time. The supply was never a problem and when we required a quick turnaround near the end of the scheme, CU were able to get us the luminaires in time for the opening dates.

All in all the, service and supply from CU Phosco Lighting has been first class and we look forward to working together on more projects in the future.

Mark Sherrington

WT Jenkins Ltd