Ray Langley



The A554 Tower Road connects Wallasey and Birkenhead on the Wirral, north west England. The road crosses the entrance to Birkenhead docks from the River Mersey by way of a moveable bridge, which is of major strategic importance in the local highway network.

The previous ‘A’ bridge, built in 1933, was a Scherzer type bascule lifting bridge with 34.4 m main span, one of four similar bridges that once existed along Tower Road.

The deteriorating condition of the bridge, the increasing maintenance costs and the consequential impact of maintenance on the local economy resulted in a decision to replace the bridge with a modern, low-maintenance, lifting bridge.

This paper provides the background to the bridge replacement project, including the reasons for replacement with a similar Scherzer bascule bridge. The civil, mechanical and electrical design is described and some of the significant issues encountered during implementation and commissioning are discussed.

The new bridge has successfully created a local landmark, contributing to the client Wirral Council’s vision for the redevelopment of this dockland area as part of the Wirral Waters regeneration project.



bridges construction design