Runcorn & Widnes

Mersey Gateway


Meet your avatar: friendly troll

As everyone knows, a bridge needs a good troll. Mersey Gateway’s troll is very friendly, and wants to help you explore this exciting scheme.

His favourite fact about the bridge is that the middle pylon is shorter than the other two because it has to be under 125m or it will affect the flight path of planes leaving and approaching Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

The Mersey Gateway Bridge project is one of the UK’s largest current infrastructure projects. With an extensive approach road network and a new six-lane toll bridge, it will create a new link between Widnes and Runcorn, helping to reduce travel time in the area and refurbishing and reopening the Jubilee Bridge.

Kier is working as part of a consortium on the project, Merseylink, which will manage over 60,000 vehicles a day, or 22 million motorists a year!

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Currently, there’s only one bridge that connects Runcorn and Widnes, which causes significant issues with heavy traffic.

We started work on the Mersey Gateway Bridge project in May 2014, building a trestle bridge across the River Mersey so we could work on the permanent structure. After laying the foundations, we used an innovative Movable Scaffold System – the largest of its kind in Europe – to create the bridge deck.

The bridge was officially opened in June 2018 by the Queen alongside the Duchess of Sussex. Among the guests at the official opening were those that helped to make the bridge a reality, including local politicians and community volunteers. Additionally front and centre on the day, were 600 local primary school children, alongside their teachers who were invited to be a part of the celebrations.

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The Mersey Gateway team gave students at Widnes Academy a taste of what it’s like to work in civil engineering to support the launch of the Institute of Civil Engineer’s (ICE) London learning hub and bridge engineering exhibition.

Students had one hour to build the most impressive bridge structure; it could be as tall, wide or long as they liked as long as it resembled a bridge, and Kier donated a number of LEGO kits to the school which will be used for other curriculum activities.

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The Mersey Gateway Bridge is expected to manage over 60,000 vehicles a day or around 22 million motorists a year, which allows the Jubilee Bridge to be replaced with a single carriageway road with greater space for cyclists and pedestrians.
Job Creation
Alongside the transportation benefits the Mersey Gateway project is expected to provide a variety of economic benefits with 470 new permanent jobs expected on site during construction and over 4,640 permanent new jobs expected as a result of the project through regeneration activity and inward investment.
Harry Watts – Apprenticeship Success
An IT apprentice on the project, Harry Watts, working for Adept4, IT and cloud computing specialists, who are working closely with the team on the project, has been offered a full time job following a successful year long apprenticeship with the company. The apprenticeship was set up through Merseylink’s Employment Skills programme which has helped to place 28 local young people in apprenticeships with its supply chain over the past three years, demonstrating the team’s commitment to the next generation.


Gareth Stuart, Project Director at Merseylink
Gareth Stuart, Project Director at Merseylink, said the sharing of skills gained by the graduate eng
ineers with local students, was a great way to inspire the next generation to pursue a career in STEM subjects.
It’s fantastic to be able to share this and industry experience with the aspiring engineers of the future.


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Images & videos

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