Mersey Gateway on site

Construction of the £600m Mersey Gateway scheme is set to officially begin today with a ground-breaking ceremony.

Halton Council leader Cllr Rob Polhill will formerly declare the start of the work during the event.

The civil engineering project will deliver a six-lane bridge designed to improve links between Runcorn and Widnes on the route into Liverpool, easing congestion on the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge.

Financial close was achieved in March an announcement in the Chancellor's Budget that the Mersey Gateway project would be receiving a £270m Government guarantee, covering around 50% of the senior debt required to finance the development.

The Merseylink consortium, which includes Kier, FCC, Bilfinger, Samsung CT and Macquarie, was awarded the contract to design, build, finance, maintain and operate the bridge in June 2013.

Construction is expected to last three-and-a-half years, with the bridge initially scheduled to be opened to traffic in the first half of 2017.

KPMG acted as financial adviser to Halton Council on the scheme.

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Fantastic news!! A great infrastructure project, for a great region. Good luck with the project. Schemes like this should have happened years ago. But, I’ll not put a dampener on the day. Hope it goes well for all involved.

By Poit