Spanish infrastructure and environmental services group FCC Construccion has been awarded the contract to engineer, build, fund, operate and maintain Liverpool’s new Mersey Gateway Bridge. The project will generate above 4,600 direct and indirect jobs through its construction, maintenance and operation. The £600m bridge, which will be FCC’s largest ever UK contract, is projected to carry above 80,000 vehicles daily.
Construction on the 2.13 km long bridge is expected to be under way by early 2014, and will last three-and-a-half years. The bridge will be opened to traffic in early 2017. I will be positioned to the east of the Silver Jubilee Bridge, which opened in the 1960s and suffers from severe traffic congestion.
The bridge will comprise a 42 metre-wide cable stayed construction with a top height of 125 metres. Seven kilometres of access roads will also be upgraded as part of the project, with 2.5 kilometres of new toll road planned. 4.5 km of existing toll roads and other communication links will also be upgraded. A free-flow multi-lane tolling system, complete with automatic number plate reading technology, will be installed.
FCC will be partnered by in the concession consortium by Macquarie and Bilfinger, and in construction by Kier and Samsung CT. Other finalists for the contract included the multinational companies Iridium, Bouygues, Hochtief and Balfour Beatty.
FCC’s UK & Ireland Managing Director, Rafael Foulquie, commented: “We are thrilled to be announced as preferred bidder for the Mersey Gateway Bridge. We have been expanding our UK operations steadily, and to be selected for such an important project – not just in terms of infrastructure, but also economically- is a huge step for us.”
He continued, “This is FCC Construccion’s second PPP project in the UK, and we are delighted to have succeeded with our design that is both innovative and cost effective. We are looking forward to being a part of the substantial benefits the new bridge will bring locally, both in terms of local employment and urban regeneration.”