A £500,000 paint job on Stockton Heath swing bridge could begin ‘early’ next year, says the council leader.
The three sites – which cross the Manchester Ship Canal – are situated on Chester Road, London Road and Knutsford Road.
The port operator previously confirmed it would cost around £500,000 to repaint each one.
Talks have been held with Peel Ports, the council and Labour’s Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid over recent months.
Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden (LAB – Birchwood) says he thinks, and hopes, work will begin on the first bridge ‘early’ next year.
He confirmed Peel and the council have been assessing options including the possibility of keeping one lane open during the works, doing work overnight and putting in road closures outside of peak hours.
Cllr Bowden added: “We have worked with Peel to look at, sensibly, how this work can be done. I think we are pretty close to an agreement.
“People have been patient, we have waited long enough to get this work done.
“I think as soon as there is an agreement about what the structure (of the work) will be and what the implications are going to be to traffic and highways management, we just want to get on with it.”
A potential six-month closure of the Stockton Heath bridge had initially been raised as a possibility during the works.
However, it sparked huge traffic-related fears.
Peel has confirmed the current plan is to refurbish the Stockton Heath bridge first.
A spokeswoman said: “In terms of timing, the original proposal was to commence works at school holiday periods to minimise disruption.
“That said, it is currently too early to confirm as there are many factors outside our control that will influence this decision, including the method of closure, impact on the public, other highways works in the wider area etc.
“We recently met with Warrington council and the meeting considered, in outline, the procurement of engineering consultants by Peel Ports, potential costs, different models of carrying out the works, and their implications.
“A further meeting will be held in the autumn to further discuss options.”
Steve Allcock, Tory borough council candidate for Stockton Heath, is calling for ‘further clarity’.
He said: “Having a lot of business experience in projects and procurement procedures, I’m not entirely convinced that between Peel and Warrington Borough Council they have not yet come up with a way forward.
“In my experience, you need to know the scope, timings and resources needed before you go out to recruit contractors and start project planning. This is standard in any major project.”