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Bam Nuttall and Samsung bolster Mersey bridge bids

Contractors join two of the three shortlisted Mersey Crossing consortiums

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Mersey Gateway: Three consortiums are shortlisted for the £600M crossing which features three cable towers

Contractors Bam Nuttall and Korean giant Samsung last week both joined the two of the consortiums bidding for the £600M Mersey Gateway crossing, weeks before the final tender is due.

Bam Nuttall has replaced Galliford Try as equity member of the MGL consortium with German contractor Hochtief Spanish infrastructure operator Iridium. The construction team consists of Bam Nuttall, Hochtief and Dragados.

Samsung has joined the Merseylink consortium as part of its construction joint venture with FCC and Kier.

The equity members remain unchanged. They are German construction firm Bilfinger Berger, Spanish toll road operator Vialia Sociedad Gestora de Concesiones de Infraestructuras, Spanish contractor FCC Construcción and finance giant Macquarie.

The third shortlisted bid team of Balfour Beatty, Bouygues and transport engineering firm Egis remains unchanged. Balfour Beatty and Bouygues make up the consortium’s construction joint venture.

The winning bidder will design, build, finance and operate the new toll bridge over the River Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes. Final tenders must be submitted by 10 April.

Centrepiece of the new project is a 1km long three span cable stayed bridge with three lanes in each direction.

Under the terms of the contract, the winning bidder must fund the £594M construction cost of the bridge, associated structures and road improvements and manage the toll-crossing for 26.5 years.

The three shortlisted bidders have been in competitive dialogue with Halton Borough Council since April 2012. A preferred bidder is expected to be announced in June.

Construction is expected to begin at the end of the year with the bridge due to open in late 2016 or early 2017.

“We are still on track to meet our overall timetable of signing a contract with the appointed bidder during 2013,” said Mersey Gateway project director Steve Nicholson.

“I am confident that we will get three high quality submissions that will deliver on both counts.”

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