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New Medway Crossing opens today (15 September 2016)

New Medway Crossing opens today (15 September 2016)

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New Medway Crossing opens today

New Medway Crossing opens today (15 September 2016)

New Medway Crossing opens today (15 September 2016)

A new £18.9 million bridge linking Snodland and Halling over the River Medway to Wouldham and Burnham opens today.

Developer Trenport built the new Medway Crossing as part of the construction of the 1,000-home Peters Village which is underway at the former Peters Lime and Cement Works in Wouldham. The bridge is the first completely new crossing to be built over the Medway in over 50 years, although the Medway Tunnel under the river opened in 1996.

The Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle, officially opened the bridge at 1pm.

Trenport acquired the 210-acre brownfield site back in 2001 and worked closely with Kent County Council and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council to gain consent for a new community comprising 1,000 houses, a supermarket, shops, medical centre, pharmacy, school, village hall and playing fields. The company is also spending more than £50 million on supporting infrastructure for the community, including the bridge and new road layouts.

The project was initially delayed in 2008 due to the financial recession, but was renewed in 2014 thanks to a £19.5m loan from the Government’s Homes and Communities’ Agency (HCA) Local Infrastructure Fund. The first homes started to be built earlier this year and they are due to be completed by 2022.

The design will see the housing created on tiers, so that all homes will have a view of the river.

It is expected the new bridge will help bring better travel, work and education options to the whole area.

Trenport director Chris Hall said: “The bridge is the key - making it all the more astonishing that this stretch of the Medway has never had a proper crossing.

“From our own pre-development archaeological surveys, we know this area was important to the Romans, who spanned an even wider point of the river at Rochester, and there has been a bridge at Aylesford village to the south since mediaeval times.

“And there might well have been talk during its industrial heyday, but records show that only a foot ferry and, during World War II, a temporary Bailey Bridge, ever connected the banks here.”

Mr Hall said: “That has now been put right.”

Gareth Blacker, head of transactions at HCA, said: “The Homes and Communities Agency is pleased to have played its part in the successful delivery of this prestige project and associated new community.

“We also note that this work was completed smoothly and on time. This speaks well for the possibilities of other developments in the future, for which we hope to announce similar loan funding.”

Attention is now being focussed on the possible development of nearby Bushey Wood.

 

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