Major work starts on Mersey Gateway road network
The Mersey Gateway team is shovel ready as they prepare to start the project’s first piece of major road work.
On October 1, work will begin at Junction 12 of the M56 in Runcorn.
Workers will begin site clearance at the roundabout north of the M56 – where the motorway joins the Weston Point Expressway (A557) – this will lead to six months of work, during off-peak traffic times, with further work to follow once the site clearance is completed.
This stage of the project is expected to be completed by April 2015.
To ensure safety of motorists, workers and other road users a 40mph speed limit will be introduced across the work site, and will be in place for the next three-and-a-half years.
To allow access to the site by workers, traffic management will be in place, with intermittent off-peak closures of lane one of all approaches to the roundabout.
Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council and Chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “This work is a vital step towards our new bridge. During the next six months residents will start to see more and more work across the project site as construction work moves forward.
“We are now well on our way to providing the people of Runcorn and Widnes with a landmark bridge and a road network to be proud of.”
Hugh O’Connor, General Manager at Merseylink, said: “During the next six months a new retaining wall will be built to the south of the roundabout, away from the existing carriageways.
“The work and any lane closures will be coordinated so there should be no significant impact on traffic during peak times, but there will be daily off-peak road closures throughout the work.
“Once completed this junction will provide a quick link between the M56 motorway and the new main route through Runcorn to the Mersey Gateway Bridge and onwards towards Liverpool and the M62.”
The economic, transport and social benefits the project will bring to the region include:
- 470 permanent full-time equivalent jobs on site during construction
- 4,640 permanent direct and indirect jobs
- £61.9 million a year in Gross Value Added from the new jobs by 2030.
When it opens in 2017, both the new bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge will be tolled, but they will be free* to all residents.
*Residents of Halton will still need to register to use the bridges and there will be a small charge for this.