FIREWORKS are expected tonight to celebrate the opening of the new Mersey Gateway.

The new Runcorn bridge, which is set to open tomorrow, Saturday, will be open to traffic just after midnight.

However, in celebration the bridge will be lit up with a spectacular light show and fireworks display tonight, a few hours before it opens to traffic – weather permitting.

The Silver Jubilee bridge will close for a major overhaul and essential repairs as the Mersey Gateway opens.

Around 1,200 people are working every day as finishing touches and checks are carried out on the 1,000-metre structure and network of new roads.

After almost four years of disruption, diversions and delays, it is just days away from completion.

A new look road system stretching across Widnes and Runcorn comes into operation when the bridge opens.

Around nine kilometres of road improvements and new junctions have been created from the M56 at junction 12 to the Widnes Eastern Bypass and Speke Road towards Liverpool.

Drivers are being warned to be vigilant as there are some changes to priorities and junction layouts.

The new bridge will have a 60mph speed limit and no toll booths.

Instead cameras and sensors will read vehicle number plates.

Eligible Halton residents can cross free once they pay a £10 annual registration fee.

Anyone, wherever they live, can also register for a pre-pay account or monthly pass which both give discounts on the full unregistered toll fee.

To register visit, call 01928 878878 or visit the walk in centre at Howard Court, Manor Park, Runcorn.

What happens when the new bridge opens?

The public viewing location are Spike Island in Widnes and Mersey Road in Runcorn.

8:30pm Light show begins

8:45pm Spectacular fireworks display

9:05pm Event ends - limited edition Mersey Gateway merchandise will be sold at both locations with all profits going to the Mayor’s charities.

Just before the new bridge opens just after midnight, on the morning of Saturday, October 14, the Silver Jubilee Bridge, which has been open since July 1961, will close for in the region of 12-months for refurbishments.

The new and improved link roads connecting the new bridge to the M56 and the main route towards Liverpool and the M62 will also open at the same time.

Once the bridge opens, tolls will be enforced immediately. Dedicated cameras and sensors will read vehicle number plates and special merseyflow stickers to charge drivers.

Anyone who doesn’t pay by 11:59pm the day after they cross will receive a penalty charge notice.