The new Mersey Gateway Bridge to open to traffic just after midnight on Saturday 14th October.
The plan, weather depending, is to have the bridge lit up with a spectacular light show and fireworks display on Friday evening, a few hours before it opens to traffic.
The overnight opening of the project road is the culmination of more than three-and-a-half years of construction work across Halton, with the new bridge being the iconic centrepiece of the huge project.
The Mersey Gateway Project covers over nine kilometres of road improvements across Halton, including the bridge and a series of major new junctions running through Runcorn and Widnes.
Its opening will mean quicker, easier and more reliable journeys across the Mersey, and the wider north-west region.
The project is largest infrastructure project in England outside of London, it includes or uses:
- a 2.2km-long elevated route including a 1,000-metre long stay cable bridge
- 127,415m3 of concrete
- 12 new bridges and 7 new or upgraded junctions across a 9.2-kilometre route through Runcorn and Widnes
- 810 miles of cables connecting the three pylons to the bridge deck
- the recovery and re-use of 1,423,2250 tonnes of previously contaminated materials
Cllr. Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council, said:
“We’ve watched the new Mersey Gateway Bridge being built up out of the river, we all know people who have contributed to the project in some way, and now it is time for it to open.
The fireworks and light show will be a spectacular opening, and I’d encourage everyone to come down to see it this Friday night.
“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.”
What happens when the new bridge opens?
Halton Borough Council, the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board and Merseylink are organising a special fireworks display to celebrate the opening, weather permitting.
The public viewing location are Spike Island in Widnes and Mersey Road in Runcorn.
- 8:30pm Light show begins
- 8:45pm Spectacular fireworks display
- 9:05pm Event ends
Before the new bridge opens just after midnight, on the morning of Saturday 14th October, the Silver Jubilee Bridge, which has been open since July 1961, will close for in the region of 12 months for refurbishments.
The new and improved link roads connecting the new bridge to the M56 and the main route towards Liverpool and the M62 will also open at the same time.
Once the bridge opens, tolls will be enforced immediately.
Dedicated cameras and sensors will read vehicle number plates and special merseyflow stickers to charge drivers.
Anyone who doesn’t pay by 11:59pm the day after they cross will receive a penalty charge notice.