The Mersey Gateway Project in the north west of England is taking the next step in the process of appointing a Design Build Finance & Operate (DBFO) contractor by launching a market consultation exercise.
The exercise explains key aspects of the project and invites firms that may be interested in bidding for the contract to comment.
The team behind the project said there were four key aims for the consultation - to advise the market of the council's approach to the project; to obtain the private sector's view on the approach to a number of key commercial issues; to allow consultees to raise any matters they consider important before procurement is formally launched; and to demonstrate that the project is well developed.
As part of the consultation process, an Industry Day will be held for the potential bidders to meet the project team and discuss in detail aspects of the proposed procurement process.
The Mersey Gateway Project involves construction of a new toll bridge over the river Mersey, between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes near Liverpool. It is part of a long-term plan to regenerate the area.
The project's future was in doubt when the UK government announced a delay to all transport schemes progressing through the planning process, including the Mersey Gateway. The project was given the green light just before Christmas, however.
The Market Consultation will now run until Friday 4 March. The full procurement process for the project is expected to begin in the spring once the funding package for the project is agreed with the UK's Department for Transport.