12th October 2017
The new £600 million pound Mersey Gateway bridge will open to traffic just after midnight on Friday (00:01 Saturday 14th October).
The announcement means that the project has finished on time and under budget.
Halton Borough Council and the successful bidder, Merseylink, worked together to save around £250 million on the project costs during the procurement process.
The entire scheme covers 9 kilometres of road across the Halton area, including the bridge and a series of major new junctions in Runcorn and Widnes.
The bridge will be a toll route with each journey across costing £2.
Once the bridge opens, tolls will be enforced immediately. Dedicated cameras and sensors will read vehicle number plates and special merseyflow stickers to charge drivers.
Anyone who doesn’t pay by 11:59pm the day after they cross will receive a penalty charge notice.
Transport bosses say the new infrastructure, which was the largest project of its kind outside of London, will provide numerous benefits for the North West.
They include the creation of 4,640 direct and indirect jobs on top of the 470 that were needed for construction.
As soon as the bridge opens, the existing Runcorn bridge will close for approximately 12 months for renovations as it will also become a toll route.
There will be a large fireworks display on Friday night to mark the opening of the new bridge.
Hugh O’Connor, General Manager at Merseylink, said: “Over the past three-and-a-half years the Merseylink team has transformed the Halton Borough landscape, designing and constructing the magnificent cable stay bridge, over nine kilometres of new roads, seven junctions and 12 new bridges and associated highway signal and control systems.
“We’re opening on time and on budget and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the staff, workers and volunteers who have worked so hard to make that happen and also say a big thank you to Halton residents and commuters for their interest, support and patience over the past three and a half years.”