The 900 m long structure will link Runcorn and Widnes. It has already attracted interest from Balfour Beatty and Costain as well as foreign contractors such as French firm Vinci and BAA owner Ferrovial.
Project director Steve Nicholson said: “We’ve fallen into the more traditional DBFO procurement route, so the project will be presented to the market place once planning is in place.
“We’re looking for up to five bidders to prequalify and then we’ll probably have a shortlist of two preferred bidders.”
Final plans for the work will go to Halton Borough Council next year with a preferred bidder due in 2010.