A £192million project to improve the link between the M6 and the M56 is on schedule, according to Highways England.
The new A556 Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway project includes seven new bridges plus a pedestrian underpass along the length of the 4.5 mile new road and will replace the existing A556 link between the M6 and M56.
Other work such as concrete retaining walls and repairs to two existing bridges are also being delivered.
Highways England’s manager Jonathan Stokes said: “It’s pleasing to see so much progress taking place with some of the bridges completed or nearing completion. Every week through the winter we have seen more of the new road taking shape and we are now gearing up for even faster progress as soon as the dry weather begins.
“When it opens next year the new road will provide a quicker, more reliable link between the two motorways and free communities living along the existing route from traffic and congestion.”
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Progress on the new bridges includes:
• Completion of a pedestrian underpass providing a link between Old Hall Lane and the old A556 under the new road just north of the roundabout with junction 19 of the M6.
•Completion of piers for a bridge at Tabley providing a link over the new road to maintain access to local traffic and the old A556
•Foundation bases for a bridge across the new road maintaining Bentleyhurst Lane, a minor public highway
•Work about to start on a ground-breaking ‘Green Bridge’ at Belt Wood providing farm access and habitat connectivity across the new road
•Installation of beams for the new bridge along the existing A50 at Mere taking traffic over the new dual carriageway and linking Mere to a new roundabout with a slip road onto the northbound A556.
•Completion of foundations for a bridge maintaining Chapel Lane over the new road
•Bridge beams about to be installed on a new bridge at Yarwood Heath Lane over the new dedicated link road to the M56 and linking the old A556 with the existing Bowdon roundabout
In delivering the new bridges and other structures, Highways England has worked to reduce the amount of steel and concrete needed – ensuring carbon savings, a reduction in costs and in traffic to and from the site.
Construction of the new link roads and roundabout arrangements around Bowdon and Junction 7 of the M56 should be completed this summer with the new bypass opening in spring of next year.
For progress on the project, including phases of traffic management, visit http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/a556-knutsford-to-bowdon-improvement/ or visit the Facebook page at https:// www.facebook.com/a556knutsfordtobowdon/