Local man Richard Walker has been recruited from Balfour Beatty down in London to come back home and take charge of the £600m Mersey Gateway project.
Mr Walker will oversee delivery of the three-and-a-half-year construction project, which involves building a six-lane cable-stay bridge across the River Mersey and a new and improved link road (9.5km long) to connect the motorway network in north Cheshire with Merseyside.
Merseylink’s construction team is a consortium of Kier, FCC Construcción and Samsung C&T. Equity partners are Macquarie Capital Group, Bilfinger Project Investments Europe and FCC.
At Balfour Beatty, Richard Walker led on the construction of two new underground stations for London’s Crossrail project together with a number of significant projects for Network Rail including Blackfriars station and bridge. Prior to this, he was managing director of Bilfinger Berger's UK operation.
Merseylink general manager Hugh O'Connor said: "Bringing in a project director with UK highways expertise was always a key priority because this project is about much more than just building a bridge. We are improving the existing road infrastructure and building the new approach roads, and this forms a major part of the construction work. Richard's appointment comes at a crucial time and Merseylink will significantly benefit from his extensive experience and leadership."
Mr Walker, who is actually from the Wirral, said: "I'm delighted to be on board. The Mersey Gateway is an exciting and challenging construction project, set to bring huge benefits to the local area and wider region. My number one priority is to ensure that this project is delivered safely and on time so that by the end of 2017, Halton will have an iconic new bridge and road network that will act as a catalyst to stimulate the regional economy."