FCC, Kier and Samsung complete “unique” $800m Mersey bridge

Merseylink Civil Contractors, a consortium made up of FCC Construcción of Spain, Kier of the UK and Korea’s Samsung C&T, has completed on time a £600m ($800m) bridge over the Mersey estuary after three-and-a-half years of work.

The Mersey Gateway Bridge will connect the towns of Widnes and Runcorn near the neck of the estuary. It has a total length of 2,248m, and is made up of two viaducts on either side of a 1km six-lane cable-stayed span.

The toll bridge is part of a 9.2km road network commissioned by Halton Borough Council to connect the towns, which aims to improve communications between Liverpool and the motorway network of northwest of England.

According to the consortium, the structure has a unique design whereby the 80m-high central pylon is shorter than the two outer pylons, which are 110m in the north and 125m in the south.

The accompanying road network includes a total of 12 bridges and seven new or upgraded junctions. Some 1.5 million tonnes of previously contaminated materials were recovered and re-used to improve the project’s environmental credentials.

FCC Group brought in many of its subsidiaries to handle aspects of the work, including FCC Engineering Technical Services for the structural and geotechnical packages and FCC Plant Department for engineering and resources. 

Protesters gathered outside Runcorn Town Hall to express their unhappiness with the toll regime (Twitter)

Juan Manuel Dochao, construction director for the consortium, said: "The project is more than just a bridge – the regional economic strategy identifies Mersey Gateway as a transformational project. It is the catalyst that will connect communities and lead regeneration and investment throughout Halton and the Northwest.

"The iconic design of the bridge will put the local area, Liverpool and the Northwest region firmly on the map and will encourage attention from all over the world."

After the bridge was opened there was protests over the fact that it is tolled, including a protest outside Runcorn town hall (pictured).

Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, said he expects that "once the bridge is paid for, the tolls go". Halton Council said the bills would be paid in 25 years, at which point a "review" of tolls would take place.

Top image: The bridge and its road network is the largest infrastructure project in England, outside London (FCC)

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  1. It’s good to see a protest against the tolling of this infrastructure. Sadly, tolls on this bridge will damage the local economy. Businesses are already relocating. Already people are avoiding the route in favour of a Close by M62 corridor with excellent transport links, and no tolls.

  2. Why did it take so long to build? Why was it so expensive? The queensbury bridge in scotland was longer and cheaper.

  3. It appears Mr Grayling is lying, – they said that about the original Mersey Tunnel (I think in the 1930’s) – it is still tolled now (only more expensive), so is the second tunnel and now the bridges are being tolled.
    The first non tolled crossing of the Mersey is Warrington (about 20 miles outside the Liverpool city centre)
    If that was to happen in London and South East, there would be uproar.
    The Mersey Tunnels and bridges are part of the ROAD Network and should be free of charge.

  4. Wow what a great job we should have got you to do the hazel Grove to airport road what a shambles and the m60 ring road would have been finished by now well done can’t wait to use it

  5. I’m disgusted at having to pay £1000 per year in order to provide care for a severely disabled relative who is now trapped by this highway robbery. Not only have they stolen the old previously free crossing; bought and payed for by the local taxpayer, they are stealing the quality of life of Halton’s disabled residents. I had planned to drive from Liverpool to Widnes and cycle across to Runcorn but now I hear the cycle path across the river is also closing: I have no alternative but to travel through Warrington. Having said this, it’s a fantastic looking bridge but as useful to Runcorn as a high quality coffin to a corpse.

  6. “The project is more than just a bridge – the regional economic strategy ide becausentifies Mersey Gateway as a transformational project. It is the catalyst that will connect communities and lead regeneration and investment throughout Halton and the Northwest.” – how wrong can you be?
    The communities were connected, using the free to cross Silver Jubilee Bridge, they have now been disconnected because of the tolls. Less than a week since the new bridge was opened, the financial difficulties are already being reported.

  7. Karen Littler – you are wrong. The *Queensferry* bridge is bigger, true, but took longer to build and was more expensive

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