AFTER almost four years of disruption, diversions and delays the new Mersey Gateway has reached a momentous milestone.

The six-lane toll bridge between Runcorn and Widnes has been joined together and the carriageway is now complete.

Today, we made history by being the first to walk over the iconic crossing and bring you exclusive pictures and video of what it looks like.

Hugh O’Connor, general manager of bridge builders Merseylink, said: “People have been very patient and understanding and put up with a lot of noise and traffic disruption.

“There have been big challenges. More than 1,200 people are working on it every day.

“The bridge is the centrepiece. This is the exciting part for people but there are also more than 9km of roads.”

Finishing touches are now being made as safety and wind barriers are put in place, lighting erected and final road surfaces laid.

The actual opening of the bridge has not yet been announced.

“We’d love to give a date but it is very difficult,” added Mr O’Connor.

“We still have a lot to do and much of it is weather dependent. Waterproofing the road surface can only be done on a dry day.

“We are at the mercy of the weather but at the end of August we will have a better idea. It will open in the autumn.”

Traffic will be able to travel across the bridge at 60mph non stop as there will be no toll booths.

Instead automatic number plate registration cameras on a toll gantry will identify every vehicle.

Registering is the only way to get discounts. More than 17,000 drivers have already signed up.

Visit for more details.