Work set to begin on new Thames road bridge at Walton

Artistic impression of the completed bridge
Image caption Work on the bridge is expected to be completed by summer 2013

Work is due to begin on the first new road bridge over the River Thames in nearly 20 years.

Construction of the £32m crossing between Walton-on-Thames and Shepperton will begin on Monday after initial preparations were completed.

The first phase of construction will see the bridge's foundations laid before the main arches are installed.

It is due to be completed by the summer of 2013 and will replace two long-serving temporary bridges.

Ian Lake, Surrey County Council's cabinet member for transport and environment, said the new structure would be called Walton Bridge.

He said: "Good transport links are vital to Surrey's economic growth.

"Surrey's roads carry nearly twice the national average traffic flow and this crossing will make a real difference to local residents, commuters and businesses as well as becoming an important new landmark on the river."

It is hoped the new bridge will provide improved access to several schools, major employers and shopping centres.

The existing bridges will remain open until the new crossing is completed.

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