PLANS for a new bridge across the River Mersey in Halton are being submitted to the Government today.
Representatives from the Mersey Crossing Group, led by the borough council, are taking five boxes of information about its preferred route to the Department of Transport. A decision is due in December.
The bid contains the findings of more than two years of intensive studies carried out for the Mersey Crossing Group by consultant engineers Gifford & Partners, who were responsible for the Tyne Millennium Bridge in Newcastle and the Dee crossing in Queensferry.
The proposed route would carry traffic from the Central Expressway in Runcorn to Ditton roundabout.
If approved, this will be the first major estuary crossing to be built in the 21st century and will be the culmination of almost a decade of work which aims to ease the serious congestion problems on the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge.
The leader of Halton Borough Council, and chairman of the North West Regional Assembly, Coun Tony McDermott, said: "The submission of this bid represents a momentous stage in our campaign but the work doesn't stop here.
"The severe congestion is damaging the regeneration prospects of the Merseyside sub-region as a whole and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency."