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Government approves additional funding package for Mersey Gateway Project

The Government has approved an additional £6M of funding for the Mersey Gateway Project, a new crossing between Runcorn and Widnes.

Halton Borough Council submitted a bid for extra government funding to cover the costs of changes resulting from consultation with a wide range of government, professional and community representatives.

The Mersey Gateway project includes a 1km long, three pier cable stay bridge (the crossing is 2.13km including approach viaducts). The deck will carrying six lanes of traffic - three in each direction.

The council says that the funding, which will be paid over the next three years, underlines the Government’s support for the project.

"We have been working closely with the Department for Transport for many years on this project and this extra contribution from central Government is excellent news," said leader of Halton Borough Council and chair of the Mersey Gateway Executive Board, councellor Tony McDermott. "It means we are still firmly on track to deliver a new bridge and the new jobs, homes, transport infrastructure and inward investment that the associated regeneration programme will bring to Halton."

Last month the government confirmed that there will be a public inquiry into the project. Although no date or venue has yet been set for this, it is envisaged that it will take place in Halton early in 2009.

If it gets the go ahead, construction work should start in 2011, with the new bridge expected to open in 2014.

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