TWO landmark planning applications to pave the way for a second bridge over the Mersey at Halton are to be submitted before the end of March.
The planning applications cover major construction work on the central expressway, Weston Bypass and Junction 12 of the M56 at Clifton, Runcorn.
The council is also seeking listed building consent for construction work on the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge and modifications to Ditton Roundabout at Widnes.
The council aims to seek approval under the Transport and Works Act 1992 for work on the proposed Mersey Gateway in May this year.
And it has unveiled a timetable for other key processes which would enable the bridge to go ahead.
A public inquiry is expected take place this winter with the outcome expected to be announced at the end of 2009.
And in 2010 tenders are to be invited from companies which want to be involved in the construction and operation of the new crossing.
The successful bidders will be appointed the following year with a view to the bridge opening for use in 2014.