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Mersey Gateway gets green light

Detailed plans for the Mersey Gateway Project have been given the green light by Halton Borough Council.

The Mersey Gateway scheme will link Runcorn and Widnes on opposite banks of the River Mersey and is expected to cost £390 million to put up.

In a special hearing dedicated to the project, the committee considered a planning application outlining major alterations to the road network in Runcorn and Widnes.

And a second application for listed building consent to change the traffic flow and road layout on the Silver Jubilee Bridge once the Mersey Gateway bridge has been built.

Further key decisions affecting the future of the project will come from the Department for Transport, which is due to consider the TWA application and a series of associated legal orders in the next few months.

A public inquiry is expected due to the size and importance of the project.

The bridge will be tolled in order to help pay for its construction with the winning team expected to be handed a 30-year concession to look after it.

If everything is approved, the new bridge is expected to be open in 2014.