Heyhouses-M55 link road: how work is coming along six months on from the long-awaited start

Six months on from the start of work on the long-awaited Heyhouses-M55 link road, notable progress is being made.

Thursday, 30th December 2021, 3:45 pm

The road is due to be ready for use in early 2024 and will considerably ease the journey from Lytham and St Annes to the motorway network as it links the Whitehills roundabout, close to the M55 and where work began, to Heyhouses Lane and Blackpool Road at Cypress Point, Ansdell.

The road is being funded thanks to contributions from or managed through the Department for Transport, Highways England, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Getting Building Fund, Lancashire County Council, Fylde Council, and secured from development.

Phil Whalley, Lancashire County Council project manager for the new road, said: “Work on the link road is now progressing in stages, from both the south end of the scheme at Heyhouses Lane and from the north of the scheme at the Whitehills roundabout.

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Phil Whalley, Lancashire County Council's project manager for the new road, at the site of the construction works

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“We then put further stone on top of this to build up the height where there needs to be on an embankment. This is designed to be above the flood levels experienced in the area.

“As the road is being built upon soft, mossy, ground, one of the processes we’re currently carrying out is to stabilise the ground. From the expected finished level of the road we are placing over 1m depth of stone to consolidate the existing soft ground.

“This material can only be placed relatively slowly to avoid any failure in the underlying area. This is then left for around three months or until settlement of the existing ground stops. This process needs to be repeated along the length of the road and will be a major focus of construction for some time to come.

The road is due to be completed by early 2024

“We have also completed the environmental screening at the southern end of the scheme so that the winter feeding birds are not disturbed by our works – the screening consists of 2.4m high hoardings along 600m to reduce any impact due to noise or the sight of construction activity taking place.

“We have been able to start cutting some new drainage features such as swales at the side of the road which will also provide new habitat for wildlife when the road is complete.

“Another ecological feature of the new road will be the ‘mammal shelves’ which form part of the new culverts across Moss Sluice and Branch Drain.

“These culverts will be much larger than the existing structures, and will feature shelves which enable small animals to pass along the culvert underneath the road without entering the water, or put themselves at risk by having to cross the road.”

Project manager Phil Whalley is pleased with progress.

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