Silver Jubilee Bridge, Runcorn

Originally opened in 1961, the Silver Jubilee Bridge is one of largest steel arch bridges in the UK and is regularly exposed to traffic volumes of over 80,000 vehicles per day.

Balvac was first appointed by Halton Borough Council to deliver their Bridge Maintenance Partnership Contract from 2009 to 2015. Since 2015, Balvac has successfully negotiated over £20 million of ongoing major maintenance works for the bridge via the SCAPE Civil Engineering framework. Funding for the maintenance of the bridge was initially awarded by the Department of Transport and subsequently via the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Successfully delivering maintenance

The bridge was closed from October 2017 to February 2021 to deliver several packages of works including repainting the entire top arch for the first time since the bridge opened in 1961. We also reconfigured the running lanes and created a new dedicated cycle lane. In addition, we waterproofed and applied an innovative, thin surface material utilising polymer modified bitumen to keep the dead load on the bridge deck within the allowed design tolerances.

We also successfully trialled a complete replacement of a locked coil hanger cable from arch to deck, providing Halton Borough Council with the confidence that future cable replacement works would be feasible whilst the bridge remains operational.

£40 million

overall value of works completed since 2009


of steelwork blast cleaned and repainted


of reinforced concrete bridge deck protected with an innovative cathodic protection system

Overcoming challenges

As part of the original works, Balvac were responsible for completing structural concrete repairs and cathodic protection to the bridge deck soffit and abutments, steelwork repainting, steelwork strengthening, parapet replacement and bridge deck refurbishment.

The combination of high traffic volumes across the bridge, four narrow running lanes and no central reservation, presented significant traffic management and access challenges during maintenance works undertaken in the years leading up to the full closure.

Through the strong collaborative relationship built with the council, we were able to combine work packages and share management and logistical resources. This approach minimised disruption to the public and delivered savings of over £700,000.

In 2022, the project secured two accolades, the ICE North West ‘Constructability Award’ at the ICE North West Awards and the New Life > £5 million’ award at Bridges. Commenting on the Bridge’s award, the judges said “the scheme demonstrated high-quality risk management and structural engineering in a complex environment.


Balvac Ltd, Silver Jubilee Bridge

Balvac - Silver Jubilee Bridge - 21 March 2018