The Government has given the green light for plans for new road bridges, one across the river Mersey and the other the river Thames. The larger of the two projects is a new crossing of Mersey between Widnes and Runcorn.
The project, known as the Mersey Gateway Bridge (MGB) will involve the construction of a bridge consisting of two three-lane carriageways; improvements to related highways; tolling of the MGB; tolling of the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge (SJB); and changes to the SJB including the reduction of the carriageway to two lanes and de-linking works.
In a separate development a new £32.3m bridge between Walton and Shepperton in Surrey has been given the green light by local transport minister Norman Baker.
The Department for Transport has agreed to invest £23.8m towards the new permanent arch bridge over the Thames. It will form part of the A244 and will replace the existing temporary crossing which is coming to the end of its working life.
Surrey County Council expects to commence construction works in early 2011 and for the new replacement bridge to be completed and opened to traffic by summer 2013, with the existing temporary bridge being removed and final landscaping works completed in spring 2014.
The new crossing will be built immediately upstream from the existing bridges towards Weybridge, which will make it possible to keep the current road bridge open to traffic throughout the construction period. The improvement scheme will also improve headroom for boats and open up access to the river.
6 January 2011