M55 link road: Overnight closures as work begins on the £185m project

Work has started on the M55 link road
Work has started on the M55 link road
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Initial clearing work has started on a new road linking the M55 with Preston and southern Fylde.

The first signs of work involve clearing vegetation by the M55, in order to start on the Preston Western Distribution (PWD) road, also known as the M55 link road.

Hedges have been cleared to allow the construction of slip roads

Hedges have been cleared to allow the construction of slip roads

It will be a 2.5 mile long dual carriageway, with a speed limit of 70mph and an off-highway shared cycleway and footway.

Overnight closures are expected on the M55 next week to allow for further work to take place, which will include narrowing the lanes and reducing the speed limit to 50mph.

The project is a collaboration between Lancashire County Council and Highways England as part of the North West Preston Masterplan. Costain has been appointed as the principal contractor to oversee the operation.

A spokesman for Highways England said: "PWD project contractors are clearing low lying vegetation along the verges around the location of the new junction between Rosemary Lane and Sandy Lane.

The project is costing around 185 million.

The project is costing around 185 million.

READ MORE: M55 link road: What is the Preston Western Distributor Road, why is it being built - and will it stop congestion?

"So far this has only required the occasional overnight lane closure for safety reasons and has not inconvenienced drivers.

"Further preparatory work involving this section of the M55 will be taking place over the next couple of weeks.

"Most of the work for PWD will be taking place away from the motorway with the new junction two a small, but important, part of the construction programme."

Road closures will be in place next week with 50mph limits expected on the M55 soon.

Road closures will be in place next week with 50mph limits expected on the M55 soon.

Highways England also said there will be lane closures overnight with the first three taking place between Wednesday, October 9 and Friday, October 11. There will be two more the following week but the dates are yet to be confirmed.

The lane closures are to allow workers to narrow the lanes on the M55, which will have a 50mph limit on them. This is to allow the construction of the four slip roads and the bridge piers.

Highways England couldn't confirm how long the speed limits will be in place, although it's expected to be lengthy.

The spokesman added: "There will be four overnight carriageway closures between junction one and junction three over a week of works from Wednesday (9 October). It will be eastbound only for three nights and westbound only for one night. This is to install narrowed lanes through the area where the new slip roads and over-bridge piers will be constructed."

All three lanes will be closed and this will be between 9pm to 5am. The spokesman said 'a clearly signed diversion will be in place.'

The scheme also includes two new roads connecting to new and existing housing areas of North West Preston and Cottam and is the biggest new road programme in the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.