Merseylink consortium gets the nod for £2bn Gateway scheme

MERSEYLINK, an international consortium of companies, has been announced as the preferred bidder for the construction and operation of the new six-land toll bridge over the Mersey.

The £2bn Mersey Gateway Project will create hundreds of jobs and slash peak journey times between Runcorn and Widnes by up to 10 minutes.

Cllr. Rob Polhill, leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “This is a hugely important day for Halton and the North West. 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.”

Chris Rhead, project director for the Merseylink consortium, added: “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.”

The Merseylink consortium’s equity partners are Australia’s Macquarie Capital Group, Bilfinger Project Investments Europe Limited, and FCC Construcción.

The construction joint venture comprises made up of Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited, while Samsung, C&T Corporation and FCC Construcción S.A. Sanef S.A will deliver and operate the tolling aspect.

Once a formal financial close is reached, Merseylink will work with the council to deliver a 30-year contract to design, build, finance and operate the new bridge.

The existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will also be tolled as part of the project.