The £74m Middlewich Eastern Bypass scheme has taken another stride towards construction, according to Cheshire East Council.
The council’s highways and transport committee today authorised all the necessary legal orders to enable delivery of the project.
The planned 2.6km, two-way single carriageway road will connect a new roundabout junction off Pochin Way in the north to a new roundabout junction to the south, connecting with the A533 Booth Lane. The scheme will include a new bridge over the Trent and Mersey Canal and a new bridge over the Sandbach-to-Northwich railway line.
Initial construction work is scheduled to start in 2023, and take an estimated 22 months, subject to land agreements and funding approvals.
Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council and chair of its highways and transport committee, said: “This scheme is an important part of our commitment to Middlewich and its residents. The bypass will be a tremendous asset and give a significant boost not only to Middlewich but also to the surrounding areas.
“The bypass will deliver a greatly improved highway network for Middlewich, addressing congestion, road safety and air quality concerns in the town centre. It will also improve journey times and support the delivery of key economic growth, employment and housing in the town and surrounding area.
“The plans will include a combined cycleway and footway, as a demonstration of our continued commitment to encouraging active travel and greener transport.”
A programme of preliminary works is due to be implemented in 2022, including the construction of a railway access point to the site, archaeological investigations, and environmental works – including habitat creation, strengthening of hedgerows and landscaping – to minimise the duration of subsequent highway construction. Ground investigation surveys have already been completed.
The outline business case has been approved by the Department for Transport (DfT). The scheme has been accepted on to the DfT’s ‘large local majors programme’.
The bypass will be built by the appointed contractor, Balfour Beatty.