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Stoke railway bridge to nowhere

A £14 million 'bridge to nowhere' has finally been opened.

Medway Council first said the A228 bridge over Stoke Crossing would open on April 14 - and then, after a delay, it said the bridge would open on Saturday.

Yet yesterday not only was the bridge shut, but there were also large chunks of Tarmac missing and no workmen on site.

But an official has said it finally opened to traffic earlier today.

Labour and parish councillors branded the bridge a waste of money, as the only thing it crosses is a single-track freight railway used fewer than 10 times a day. It leads to Grain village and the Thamesport cargo terminal.

The council promised it would open two days ago unless there were "prolonged heavy downpours or overnight freezing", and stuck by the date even after thunderstorms last week.

Grain resident Lisa Hood said: "I came back from a night out in Rochester at 2am on Saturday and they were working on it then. It's as though it's round the clock."

The project was approved in 2010 to improve road safety.

The government paid for it, but council taxpayers will have to fund a £1.2m overspend.

It was fast-tracked without appearing before a value-for-money board. However, the council said it was over budget because of clashes with a pipeline firm.

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