Mersey Gateway Bridge
Miranda Dobson

Member Article

Partner named for Mersey Gateway Bridge

Merseylink has been unveiled as the preferred bidder for the £2bn Mersey Gateway Project, by Halton Borough Council.

Announced on Thursday in the Catalyst Museum observatory in Widnes, Merseylink and Halton Council said they have jointly saved tens of thousands of pounds on the estimated public sector contribution.

The Mersey Gateway Bridge contract includes the design, construction, finance, maintenance and operation of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge, which is projected to carry over 80,000 vehicles every day and create more than 4,600 direct and indirect jobs.

Halton Borough Council will work with Merseylink on the final plans before a financial close is reached and a contract is signed.

Demolition and site clearance is due to begin later in 2013, when full details of the winning bid will be revealed.

Cllr. Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council, commented: “This is a hugely important day for Halton and the north west of England.

“This partnership with Merseylink will deliver Mersey Gateway for the next 30 years and it is very exciting to be part of something that will bring thousands of jobs and major regeneration opportunities to the region for years to come.”

“We all know something needs to be done to relieve the pressure on commuters who are used to being stuck in queues to cross the Silver Jubilee Bridge and we know from talking to local businesses, both big and small, that this is a major issue when it comes to growing the north west economy.”

Construction is expected to start in early 2014, and will be opened to traffic in the first half of 2017.

The project will be centred around a new six-lane toll bridge over the River Mersey, while the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will be tolled as part of the scheme.

Leaders of the project expect it to boost GVA by £61.9m from new jobs by 2030, while journey times will be up to 10 minutes quicker in rush hours.

The Department for Transport is part funding the project, and Ministers will consider the Council’s final funding later in 2013, while any savings will be split 70:30 between the UK Government and Halton Council.

The Merseylink consortium’s equity partners are Macquarie Capital Group Limited, Bilfinger Project Investments Europe Limited, and FCC Construcción, while the joint construction venture is made up of f Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited, Samsung C&T Corporation and FCC Construcción S.A. Sanef S.A.

Chris Rhead, project director for the Merseylink consortium, said: “This is great news for the team and we are looking forward to working in a long term partnership with Halton Borough Council to deliver this much-needed new bridge, which will see benefits to the local area in terms of jobs, transport and regeneration potential.

“Our consortium has a wealth of experience of major projects across the globe and we are confident that we have the capability to deliver the Mersey Gateway Bridge to schedule and budget, with the least possible disruption to the local community.”

Mersey Gateway project director, Steve Nicholson, said: “The outcome of procurement demonstrates the value in allowing private sector to modify the design in order to reduce costs.

“The quality of all the bids we received and the work put in by all the shortlisted bidders has been of a very high standard, and each one satisfied our challenging requirements.

“We now have a very attractive final offer from Merseylink, which means that we don’t need all the money we originally requested from Government.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Miranda Dobson .

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