Merseylink and the council team will work on the final details of the plans before reaching financial close, signing a contract and starting site clearance and demolition later this year.
The consortium plans to retain the iconic three-tower design but has opted for a new cost-saving construction method.
The original reference design based on steel fabrication has been switched to a reinforced concrete deck cast in-situ, saving “tens of millions of pounds”.
Steve Nicholson, Mersey Gateway Project Director, said: “The outcome of procurement demonstrates the value in allowing the private sector to modify the design in order to reduce costs.
“The quality of all the bids we received and the work put in by all the shortlisted bidders has been of a very high standard, and each one satisfied our challenging requirements.”
He added: “We now have a very attractive final offer from Merseylink, which means that we don’t need all the money we originally requested from Government.”
Once a formal financial close is reached, Merseylink will then become the project company and will work with the council to deliver a 30-year contract to design, build, finance and operate the toll bridge over the River Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes, together with associated work in the towns.
Merseylink construction team
- Kier Infrastructure and Overseas
- Samsung C&T Corporation
- FCC Construcción
Its members have delivered many high profile projects around the world, including the Golden Ears Bridge in Vancouver, the Vidin-Calafat Bridge in Bulgaria, the Incheon Bridge in Korea and the M50 widening in Dublin.
Chris Rhead, Project Director for the Merseylink consortium, said: “Our consortium has a wealth of experience of major projects across the globe and we are confident that we have the capability to deliver the Mersey Gateway Bridge to schedule and budget, with the least possible disruption to the local community.
“I would urge businesses to register as potential suppliers at www.merseygateway.co.uk so they can keep in touch with future opportunities.”
“We will soon roll out a programme of activities designed to communicate with local residents and stakeholders to ensure that the public is kept informed of our plans and project progress.
“We will kick this programme off at our Meet Merseylink open days, which will be held on the 9th July in Runcorn Town Hall and the 16th of July in Stobart Stadium, Widnes.”
The existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will also be tolled as part of the project, which will bring major estimated economic, transport and social benefits to the region.
Mersey Gateway is being part funded by the Department for Transport and ministers will consider the council’s final funding submission later this year.
Any financial savings confirmed at that time on the projected budget will be split 70/30 between the UK Government and Halton Borough Council in line with an existing agreement over the 30-year lifetime of the project.
Halton Borough Council will be ploughing its portion of the savings back into the project to improve financial resilience and to reduce the impact of tolls on local residents, including supporting public transport options.