About a mile further on along the Mersey towards Warrington from the Silver Jubilee Bridge is the Mersey Gateway bridge crossing the river and the Manchester Ship Canal from Widnes, across Spike Island and the Sankey Canal, towards Runcorn, Northwich, Chester and North Wales.
The Mersey Gateway, photographed during the blue hour, one evening shortly after it was opened to traffic.
The bridge was commissioned to recognise the massive increase in traffic since the Silver Jubilee bridge was designed. Construction began in 2014 and the bridge opened in October 2017 as a toll bridge. I took the photograph above in March 2016 and the two below in December 2016.
The Gateway has three lanes in each direction and the tolls are charged on the basis of automatic number plate recognition cameras. Drivers, except for those excluded, must prepay or pay online within 24 hours.
The bridge’s three towers support the kilometre or so of ‘cable-stayed’ crossing approximately 23 metres above the river. The total length of the crossing, which has required major civil engineering works including new interchanges and road landscaping.
Not everyone has welcomed the new bridge. With it came tolls to cross both it and its older sibling, increasing travel costs substantially for regular users. Halton residents are excluded though.
For myself, as an amateur photographer, the bridges provide some great opportunities at different times of day, weather and season: a gift that goes on giving’.
For example, once the Trans-Pennine Trail was re-opened after construction ended, there came opportunities to photograph the bridges curves from beneath as in the shots above and below .
The underside of the bridge also produces interesting reflections in the Sankey Canal as it passes beneath.