The three bidders are competing for a 30-year contract to design, build, finance and operate a new toll bridge over the River Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes, together with associated work in the towns.
The procurement competition has now entered the final stage where the detailed submissions from the three bidders are being developed with the client, Halton Borough Council. The project team will now spend the coming months evaluating the three bids against criteria that focuses on both quality and value for money. When the council requirements have been satisfied, bidders will be asked to submit their final tenders, leading to the selection of the preferred bidder in the spring of 2013. The aim is then to sign a contract by the end of 2013 and have the bridge opening to traffic by the end of 2016..
The value of the construction phase of the project, including land, is estimated at £600m.
The total project costs/revenues over the next 30 years will be around £2bn.
As previously reported the three consortia bidding for the contract are:
- Balfour Beatty, Bouygues, Egis Projects consortium
- Merseylink consortium (Macquarie, Bilfinger Berger, FCC and Vialia Sociedad Gestora de Concesiones de Infraestructuras)
- MGL consortium (BAM Nuttall, Hochtief PPP and Iridium).
Council leader Rob Polhill said: "I am delighted with the progress that we have made on the procurement programme. This is complicated and intensive work that cannot be hurried, so it is important that we take the time to get this process exactly right and make the best decision for Halton."
Mersey Gateway project director Steve Nicholson added: "We are very pleased with the quality of discussions that we have had with each of the bidders during the past nine months of competitive dialogue. The next few months will be spent analysing the details of their final proposals and I am confident that we will emerge with a committed partner that will help us deliver this exciting project."