A multi-million pound project to improve transport links in northern England with the creation of a new link road connecting the M6 and the M56 has reached another significant milestone with the opening of remodelled slip roads.
Work on the A556 Knutsford to Bowdon link road will see the creation of a new dual carriageway between junction 19 of the M6 and junction 7 of the M56, and is expected to cost £192 million as part of a wider £15 billion investment in transport in the region through to 2021.
The completed road is scheduled to be open by spring 2017, and the latest milestone will enable drivers leaving the A556 to enjoy direct access to the eastbound M56, while at the same time, travellers leaving the westbound M56 can now transfer directly to the southbound A556.
Highways England explained this will be of great benefit to drivers who have until now had to navigate traffic lights and/or the Bowdon roundabout.
The remodelling work to improve slip roads between the existing A556 and junction 7 of the M56 has involved pairing the existing Bowdon roundabout with a new, smaller roundabout that has been open since September. The two roundabouts are linked by a new bridge, with the new link roads between the A556 and M56 travelling under this.
Project manager at Highways England Paul Hampson said: “When the new road is completed these new link road arrangements will play a crucial part in providing drivers with quicker and more reliable journeys between the two motorways.”
The work has also resulted in the the re-opening of the M56 eastbound exit slip road at junction 7 following a five-month closure, which has required drivers to head onto the new Bowdon roundabout for access to the southbound A556 or local road network, including the A56 local roads for Bowdon and Altrincham.