Ramboll. Mersey Gateway. Image: Merseylink
This is the culmination of a long journey for the borough of Halton and all those committed to the regenerative powers of this major new estuary crossing. The bridge opened on time and £250m under budget, the result of close collaboration between Halton Borough Council and Merseylink during the procurement process. Ramboll, in the role as lead technical consultant from 2001 – 2014 and on the technical advisory team since 2014, played an instrumental part in achieving these budget savings.
The Mersey Gateway project is an integral part of the local Sustainable Transport Strategy and covers around 9km of road improvements and a series of major new junctions running throughout Runcorn and Widnes. It will improve journey times and reliability for millions of people and attract massive inward investment and regeneration in the region. In addition to the hundreds of jobs created during the construction process it’s believed the new infrastructure will generate 4,640 permanent direct and indirect jobs and £61.9 million a year in Gross Value Added from the new jobs by 2030.
Ramboll has been supporting the £1.86bn design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) Mersey Gateway scheme since 2001 and, in our capacity as lead technical consultant, we helped to obtain funding approval for the Mersey Gateway project. We have provided a suite of expertise including engineering design, construction methods investigation, environmental and transport assessments, remediation, the provision of expert witness services, project management and technical advice during the Competitive Dialogue procurement process. Since the project’s financial close in 2014 we have supported the project as part of the technical advisor team, which also includes CH2M, IBI and Knight Architects. This team supported the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board with technical and contractual administration of the project and helps it fulfil its contractual obligations.
The scale of the Mersey Gateway is phenomenal. It includes a 2.2km-long elevated route with a 1km-long stay cable bridge. The whole 9.2km-long road section required 12 new bridges and 7 new or upgraded junctions. The remediation project designed by Ramboll cleaned land on either side of the river and removed over 17 tonnes of chlorinated solvent contamination.
On opening Counciller Rob Polhill, leader of Halton Borough Council, said:
“This project has already brought millions of pounds to our regional economy, created hundreds of job opportunities, engaged with thousands of local schoolchildren and transformed our road network, but that is just the start.
“This gives us an incredible infrastructure and base from which we can develop a hugely exciting and vibrant future for Halton. The Mersey Gateway Plus Regeneration Strategy outlines how we will continue to ensure Halton and the north west continue to create jobs and grow our economy.”
Ramboll Project Director Claire Hall commented:
”This has been an immensely complex process, with Ramboll’s involvement in the partnership stretching back 16 years. I’m hugely proud of the crucial role we have played in making this vital infrastructure project happen, in cleaning up the surrounding area, and in ensuring an optimal solution for our partners at Merseylink.“
Ramboll has played a significant role in the Mersey Gateway project, the central feature of the significant highway improvements between the M56 and Speke Road. It is a new six-lane cable-stayed tolled bridge across the Mersey Estuary between Runcorn and Widnes.