Work set to start on long-awaited M55 link road
The long-awaited M55 link road is set to move a crucial step closer on Monday, June 14, when construction of the earthworks compound begins, following on-site discussions between the contractor, landowners and Lancashire County Council.
The first shovel in the ground to signal the start of the earthworks themselves is then expected to follow a week later on June 21, according to Fylde MP Mark Menzies.
Contractor DUO has been on site in the past week looking at setting out and making arrangements with local businesses and landowners and will have further meetings this week ahead of the compound for the £27m road being installed on Monday.
Lancashire County Council’s archaeologist will liaise with DUO throughout the process.
“It has been incredibly frustrating these past few weeks knowing the earthworks constructor has been appointed and on site - yet we have seen no visible evidence of their presence.
“I am pleased to know they have been on site and talking to the various landowners along the road regarding their works programme.
“More importantly, the earthworks programme is now scheduled to begin one week following the start date for the compound, on June 21.
“After campaigning and raising funding for this road for years, I wanted to see immediate action on sight after the contract was awarded. However, I understand the need to do everything correctly and I look forward to seeing DUO in action. Not until we see full construction taking place will I stop pressing for this road.”
The link road deal was finally signed in March with all landowners agreeing to sell land and give access where needed for the construction of the road.
The scheme became one of ten ‘shovel-ready’ projects to be funded in Lancashire by the Government’s Getting Building Fund, after Mr Menzies lobbied the Prime Minister and Chancellor to replace funding Growth Deal funding and funds withdrawn by Homes England. Lancashire County Council and Fylde Council both increased their funding to ensure the scheme went ahead.
DUO will ‘preload’ the ground for the new road and construction will follow when the ground has stabilised. The link road project is expected to take around 30 months to complete. United Utilities and Electricity Northwest have already completed work at the site to protect and divert existing utilities.
The single track Moss Road which was closed will be reopened as part of the scheme, as a bridleway, cycle path and pedestrian route away from the new road.
Signs detailing the road scheme will be placed at either end of the project in the next few days.
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