Merseylink, the construction consortium building the Mersey Gateway Bridge, says it could open for traffic in a few weeks time if the weather allows the final elements of work to progress quickly
Liverpool city region’s new £600m bridge over the Mersey could be open as early as mid-September.
Merseylink, the construction consortium building the Mersey Gateway Bridge, says it could open for traffic in a few weeks time if the weather allows the final elements of work to progress quickly.
It is anticipated the bridge will open no later than mid-October weather permitting. The team will be able to give a definitive date around five days ahead of opening.
This will mean the project is opening ahead of time and within budget after a three-and-a-half-year construction programme that has seen major roads across Widnes and Runcorn re-routed and improved.
The 1,000 metre long Mersey Gateway Bridge is the centrepiece of the Mersey Gateway Project, which covers around 9k of road improvements and a series of major new junctions running throughout Runcorn and Widnes.
The new bridge will open to traffic at midnight on its opening day, with the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge being closed just beforehand.
The new and improved link roads connecting the new bridge to the M56 and the main route towards Liverpool and the M62 will open at the same time.
In the hours leading up to the midnight opening Halton Council will mark the event with a special fireworks display from the new bridge.
Once the new bridge opens, tolls will be in place immediately.
The bridge will use a free flow tolling system – so there will be no toll booths – which will keep traffic moving quickly across the route.
Dedicated cameras and sensors will read vehicle number plates and special merseyflow stickers to charge drivers.
Anyone who doesn’t pay by midnight the day after they cross will receive a penalty charge. You can register by clicking here.
Hugh O’Connor, gheneral manager of Merseylink, said: “All along we said we’d be opening in autumn 2017 and it is great to be able to keep that promise.
“We’ll update everyone with a firmer date as we get closer to opening but we’re confident that we will open by mid-October at the latest.
“Much of our final work is weather dependent, but we will be able to give a definitive date around five days ahead of opening.”