THE search is on this week to find the 25,000th visitor to the Mersey Gateway visitor centres in a competition.

The winner will be given a guided tour of the construction site of the new bridge.

The centres at the Catalyst Science and Discovery Museum in Widnes and Runcorn Shopping Centre tell the story of the borough’s iconic bridge and road project.

Jill Doyle, communications manager at Merseylink, said: “There has been massive interest in the project locally but there have also been visitors from as far away as Australia and the United States.

“Reaching our 25,000th visitor is a huge occasion so we decided to celebrate by offering people the chance to win an access all areas guided tour of the bridge site for the winner and one guest.”

The Catalyst Centre offers bird’s eye views of the bridge construction site from its rooftop observatory.

Halton Council leader Cllr Rob Polhill said: “Marking the 25,000th visitor to the centre is a great achievement and is testament to the interest this project has generated, locally, nationally and internationally.

“Our centres are staffed by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable team of volunteers, who are eager to share their local knowledge with visitors.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and commitment since the centres opened, they have represented Halton admirably and tirelessly.”

A wealth of materials on display at the visitor centre in Widnes include a giant steel anchorage box weighing an enormous 620 kilograms which shows a cross section of one of the steel stay cables.

Interactive display screens access a massive amount of project information, including videos, photographs, a live site webcam and a special children’s zone.

Admission is free and both centres are staffed by Mersey Gateway volunteers who are all fully trained to answer questions on everything from local history and heritage, environment and ecology to the bridge construction itself.

The Widnes visitor centre is open from 10am-4pm, Tuesday to Sunday.The Runcorn visitor centre is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

People can enter the free competition at both visitor centres until Friday, May 12.

The winner will be chosen on May 16.