ICE Director General pledges support for Mersey Gateway Project
The Mersey Gateway Project has been endorsed by the UK’s most senior civil engineer on a special visit to Halton.
Nick Baveystock, the Director General of the Institution of Civil Engineers, made a trip to Widnes to meet with Project Director Steve Nicholson, see the location of the new bridge and learn more about the plans for the Mersey Gateway 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.
Nick 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.”
Steve Nicholson said: “We’re delighted to get this endorsement from the ICE. 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.”
Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “ICE North West has been an advocate of the Mersey Gateway scheme from the beginning, particularly in recognising the social and economic benefits it will bring to the region. Its support has certainly added weight to the already compelling arguments for a second River Mersey crossing”.
Regional Director Alan Butler said ICE North West has an active role to play in supporting strategic infrastructure development that will boost the regional economy and improve employment prospects for our communities.