New £192m link between North West motorways opens


A new £192m stretch of dual carriageway linking the M6 and M56 motorways has opened on schedule.

The new five-mile section of the A556, which links M56 junction 7 to M6 junction 19 and was built at a cost of £191.9m, opened in the early hours of Monday morning.

It was built to address frequent severe congestion on a four-mile section of the old road, which was mainly a single four lane carriageway, with sections of dual two lane carriageway, and had traffic lights and many property entrances.

Highways England said the new link will mean safer, more reliable journeys between the motorways, and radically reduce the impact on the local community.

It includes seven bridges, one underpass, 100,000 tonnes of surfacing, 180,000 tonnes of hardcore, 117,000 square metres of shrubs and trees and 1.2 million cubic metres of earthworks.

Road and junction closures last weekend saw the old road finally sealed off to through traffic and the existing motorway junctions tied into the new dual carriageway.

The existing A556 will become a single carriageway road with facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

The new road and the motorway junctions will be closed for finishing works during the project’s third and final full weekend of closures between 9pm on Friday (10 March) and 5am on Monday.

Construction of the new road, which is part of the £15bn Road Investment Strategy, started in November 2014.


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