Mersey Gateway Bridge
|Mersey Gateway Bridge|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|The bridge from Wigg Island|
|Lancashire • Cheshire|
|Halton • Cheshire West and Chester|
|Crossings related to the A533|
The Mersey Gateway Bridge is a tolled bridge across the Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes and shown on google maps and the AA 2018 map as the A533. It officially opened on 14 October 2017, following a large fireworks display.
The construction of the bridge necessitated the significant changes to the Runcorn Expressway system, primarily to re-route the 'through' route from the Weston Point Expressway onto the Central Expressway. This meant:
- Reconstruction of the three level interchange between the Central and Bridgewater Expressways to become a 'dog-bone' roundabout with the Central Expressway continuing over the top on a flyover;
- Reconstruction of the trumpet interchange between the Central, Southern, and Weston Link Expressways to become a fork interchange with the mainline changing from the Southern to the Weston Link movement;
- Modification of the three level interchange between the Weston Point and Weston Link Expressways to improve the turn movement that became a dominant flow. This interchange is still very cramped but the revised slip roads flow better;
- Conversion of the northern M56 Junction 12 roundabout to a hamburger type junction.
At the Widnes end the removal of the 1990s Ashley Way was necessary to accommodate the Widnes Loops roundabout, and the Ditton roundabout was heavily reconstructed to become a diamond-type interchange with access to the Silver Jubilee Bridge retained.
It is anticipated that the proposed M56 Junction 11A will help redistribute flows between the bridge and motorway, but construction on this is yet to start.
Original plans to improve capacity across the Runcorn Gap would have seen a new span built to the west of the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge, and a stub ramp was built for this on the southern approach. This has since been demolished as part of the Gateway project is to reduce the function of the old bridge to a local link, which is also tolled. Halton residents can apply for a substantial discount for a small registration fee.
- The River Mersey (Mersey Gateway Bridge) (Amendment) Order 2016 - This Order allows Halton Borough Council to make a road user charging scheme under the Transport Act 2000 in place of the tolling provisions in respect of the Mersey Gateway Bridge and Silver Jubilee Bridge to enable an open road charging scheme to be introduced. It also modifies the provisions in the 2011 Order that relate to the enforcement of the payment of tolls and charges if no road user charging scheme is in force