But when Construction Newsasked transport secretary Alistair Darling whether the Department for Transport would make a decision by the deadline, he said: 'We'll see. We' re still discussing it at the moment.'
As Construction Newswent to press neither Merseytravel nor the Government could say whether Laing O'Rourke would get to carry out the contract it won earlier this year.
The tram is still in need of a further £20 million of funding after Mr Darling capped the Government grant and five Merseyside councils failed to underwrite the sum, which is needed for contingency costs.
The scheme suffered a setback at a conference fringe meeting where David Miliband, the communities minister, ruled out a special levy on council tax payers for the tram.
He told the gathered delegates that the local authority would only be allowed to raise transport funding by cutting its other budgets.
The levy plan had been suggested by Liverpool City Council leader Mike Storey at the Liberal Democrat conference.
It was the latest in a number of schemes proposed by Merseytravel and Liverpool City Council. These have included raising money from road tolls, which has also been ruled out.