Newts, bats and ancient woods: Council seeks bids for £58m bypass


A contractor is being sought to design and construct a £58m single carriageway bypass that involves an obstacle course of engineering and environmental challenges. 

Cheshire East Council has posted a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) for a contractor for the proposed 5.7 km-long A536 Congleton Link Road.


According to the OJEU notice, the road will pass beneath another road in an area with a high water table and will be cut approximately 8 metres deep into mudstone in a 25 metre-high escarpment before crossing the River Dane.

It would cross the river on an 85 metre-long bridge and land on a 12 metre-high embankment founded on piled alluvium.

There are two other road bridge crossings and two underpasses included in the project.

‘The scheme also has approximately 3.5km of realigned or new local roads and significant amounts of landscaping and environmental mitigation works to accommodate Great Crested Newts, Bats and Ancient Woodland,’ the OJEU notice states.

The planned 9.3 metre-wide single carriageway road will run to the north of Congleton between the A534 Sandbach Road in the West and the A536 Macclesfield Road to the North East. The mainline will have six roundabouts, including junctions with the A54 and A34.

According to the council website, the road aims to cut congestion and pollution in the town of Congleton and improve air quality.

The ‘restricted tendering’ procedure will have two stages – a selection questionnaire followed by an invitation to tender to five candidates.

The council said it wants to appoint a suitable contractor to design and construct the works the works utilising the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract Option A — Priced Contract with Activity Schedule.

This contract will last a total of seven years, comprising 24 months of construction followed by five years of aftercare.


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