The UK’s most senior civil engineer has endorsed the Mersey Gateway Project during a visit to Halton.
Nick Baveystock (pictured left), the director general of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), made a trip to Widnes to meet with project director Steve Nicholson (pictured right), see the location of the new bridge and learn more about the plans for the Mersey Gateway Project.
He and ICE North West regional director Alan Butler met up with project representatives at the Catalyst Museum in Widnes for a briefing on the project.
Halton Borough Council, which is promoting the project, this summer announced the appointment of the Merseylink consortium as the preferred bidder on the project. The two parties are expected to sign a formal contract by the end of the year, with construction work starting shortly afterwards and the new bridge scheduled to open in 2017.
The centrepiece of the Mersey Gateway Project is a new six-lane toll bridge over the River Mersey. The existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will also be tolled as part of the project, which is expected to help create thousands of new jobs, secure inward investment to the area and deliver important regeneration benefits.
Baveystock said: “This visit has given me the opportunity to engage with the project team on this major infrastructure development and discuss how we can mutually support one another in promoting civil engineering. I’m impressed with the vision that the team here at Halton Borough Council has shown to bring this project to a reality.”
Nicholson added: “We’ve worked closely with bodies like the ICE over a number of years to get to this stage and it is exciting to think now that Mersey Gateway can be a demonstration project for other civil engineers, not just here in the UK but around the world.”