There will be visible activity over the next few weeks on the site of the North & East Melton Mowbray Distributor Road, according to Leicestershire County Council.
Starting shortly will be archaeological surveys carried along sections of the 7.1km stretch while, during the same period, work will start to create access routes for construction vehicles and machinery as well as the setting-up of compounds, removal of vegetation and fencing being put up.
The advance work is being carried out ahead of main construction of the distributor road, which is likely to start in April this year, subject to Department for Transport approval of the full business case submitted by the county council and which it hopes will be approved in the next few weeks.
The DfT agreed to contribute £49.5m, but the cost of the scheme has doubled since it was first costed five years ago, due to soaring inflation and construction costs. The council is continuing to talk to the DfT about how cost pressures are impacting on major schemes and pressing for a new funding model.
Back in December, Cabinet members approved the county council’s funding contribution of around £51m to the scheme as it still represents value for money.
The road is expected to open to traffic in summer 2025.
Although main construction of the relief road isn’t due to start until April, there will be advance work starting shortly.
“From time to time, there will be manned, temporary traffic lights to allow construction vehicles to safely access the site. However, we expect any disruption to be very minimal at this advance stage. I want to thank everyone in advance for bearing with us,” said Councillor Ozzy O’Shea, county council cabinet member for highways and transport.
The road will relieve congestion in Melton Mowbray and support plans for housing and employment growth in the town. It will run to the north and east of Melton, starting on the A606 Nottingham Road to the north before re-joining the A606 Burton Road to the south of the town.