Taunton's new bridge is put into place with huge crane

One of the biggest cranes in Europe has lifted Taunton's newest bridge into place, as part of the town's £5.5m Third Way road building scheme.

It will provide a new north to south route with a bridge over the River Tone, near Goodland Gardens, linking Wellington Road to Bridge Street.

Somerset County Council's Patrick Flaherty hoped the bridge would be in use for "the next 150 years".

Adding that the 250-tonne (39,370st) bridge was "a milestone" for the town.

"It will open new employment land for the town and really help to drive the economic recovery going forward," Mr Flaherty said.

"It also is a traffic scheme at the end of the day and it will take a lot of traffic out of the town centre.

"We know [that] will provide a very pleasant environment for shoppers in the town and help the town centre to thrive.

"It will be a better experience for the drivers, not having to be caught up in so much congestion every day."

Autumn completion

As part of the scheme, another bridge will also be built over Mill stream with pedestrian and cycle facilities.

Two sets of traffic lights will be installed and improvements will be made to the existing Bridge Street and Wood Street junction.

The council hopes that work will be completed by autumn 2011.

According to the council work will begin on the Third Way's sister project, the £21m Northern Inner Distributor Road in 12 months' time.

It will connect Staplegrove Road to Priory Bridge Road and aims to ease congestion in Taunton town centre.

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