Essential road closures in Widnes for one of the main approaches to the new Mersey Gateway Bridge have been confirmed.

Work began on Monday, April 10, and last for around three weeks, but the closures will not be in place each and every night.

There will also be no work taking place over the Easter weekend itself.

When they are closed, the routes leading on and off from Speke Road to Ditton Road will be closed from 7.30pm at night to 5am each day and completely from 9.30pm on Friday nights to 6am on Monday mornings.

Only one of the roads will be closed at a time to minimise the impact on traffic.

Ditton Road West will be opened up to two-way traffic during these works to minimise congestion in the area and improve access for businesses operating in and around the 3MG site and the wider Ditton Road area.

The progress of the new bridge crossing the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship canal Mersey Gateway

The southbound diversion ?for traffic heading towards Widnes and Runcorn ?will run along Everite Road and Marshgate before joining Hale Road and then Ditton Road.

The northbound diversion will involve traffic coming from the Silver Jubilee Bridge diverted along Ditton Road to re-join Speke Road further west.

There is significant ongoing work already taking place in the area and the total closures are required for piling works, gantry installation and trench crossings to lay utility cables across Speke Road.

Merseylink general manager Hugh O鈥機onnor said: 鈥淎nyone who drives along this route will be very familiar with the diversions we are using and will know that there is some disruption to traffic while we build the link road to the new bridge.

鈥淲e鈥檙e working hard to minimise the closure periods and schedule the works outside of busy times, so we鈥檇 just ask everyone using the route to drive carefully and safely through the area.?/p>

The Mersey Gateway bridge under construction over the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canel.

From around mid-May, Ditton Road will return to being a westbound only route while work continues in the area to reconfigure the connecting routes around Ditton Junction.

When work is complete in this area and the new bridge opens later in the year, Speke Road will be linked directly to the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and traffic will be able to travel uninterrupted across the River Mersey .

Halton Borough Council leader Rob Polhill said: 鈥淚鈥檓 pleased that these works are being scheduled for times when there will be less traffic on the roads so fewer people will be inconvenienced by any delays.

鈥淭he new route will mean quicker, easier and more reliable journeys over the river in Halton and we are all looking forward to the new bridge opening later this year.?/p>