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Sat June 15 2024

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New £600m Mersey bridge gets final go-ahead

3 Oct 11 Transport secretary Philip Hammond has approved up to £470m of funding for a new bridge across the River Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes.

The new dual three-lane bridge and associated link roads will form a major new transport route improving links between the Liverpool City region, north Cheshire and the wider northwest to the rest of the country.

Construction of the new bridge – known as the Mersey Gateway Bridge – is expected to begin in 2013 and open for traffic in 2016. The construction cost (including land) is £589m, which the Department for Transport will support with a mixture of capital grant and revenue funding for the bridge’s continued operation.

The cable stay structure will have a span of 1km, supported by three towers of up to a maximum of 140m in height. It will also include link roads from the existing highway network.

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The existing Silver Jubilee Bridge, 1.5 miles to the west of the planned bridge, will be converted into a local traffic bridge with priority for buses and improved conditions for pedestrians and cyclists. There will be toll charges for those using both crossings to help fund a significant proportion of the scheme.

Mr Hammond said that he had given approval after Halton Borough Council had shaved £30m off the original project estimate.

Mersey Gateway Project director Steve Nicholson said: “We have been working very closely with government over recent months to finalise the details of this agreement and I am delighted with the results. This agreement represents the best possible deal for the public purse and means that we can focus on delivering a project that will bring benefits to local people, commuters and businesses from across the region.

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