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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 April, 2004, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Work begins on new island bridge
An artist's impression of the new bridge
The contract to build the bridge was awarded by the Highways Agency
Work has started on building a new road bridge which will link the Isle of Sheppey to mainland Kent.

The 100m scheme will see a state-of-the-art structure built to carry four lanes of traffic.

At the moment the island is cut off from the mainland every time the Kingsferry bridge is raised to allow ships to pass along the River Swale.

Excavation work started on Thursday on constructing the bridge which is due to take two years to complete.

Good news

It is hoped the new bridge will improve access for people living and working on the Isle of Sheppey.

Transport Minister David Jamieson, who was there to see the start of the work, said: "Local people are going to see a huge difference in the waiting time, getting across from one side of the river to the other.

"And it is going to bring new investment and prosperity to the area.

"I think that is all in all good news."

"The other good news is 100m budget over two years will create a lot of jobs locally when it is being built."

The contract to construct the new bridge was awarded by the Highways Agency.

The Isle of Sheppey, which measures approximately nine miles by four miles, lies off the north Kent coast near Whitstable.


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