The scheme, which was awarded to preferred bidder Connect CNDR (Balfour Beatty) in December 2007, ground to a halt after the consortiumвЂ™s funder Dexia Bank fell victim of the credit crunch in October last year.
Since then Balfour Beatty has been struggling to find other funders to provide the private finance for the scheme.
This week the council confirmed that four banks have sent letters of support for the scheme and are now carrying out their due diligence.ADVERTISEMENT
Diane Wood, the councilвЂ™s corporate resources director said: вЂњAssuming the project remains affordable to the council and the Department for Transport/Treasury, it should be possible to secure final approvals to enable the contract to be signed sometime in March 2009.вЂќ
However she warned: вЂњThis continues to be a challenging timescale and remains subject to confirmation from the banks. There is also the risk that detailed contract issues may be reopened, which could easily extend the timetable.вЂќ
Preparatory works have already started on the scheme which will allow construction work on the scheme to start immediately after financial close.
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