Major maintenance work that will keep traffic moving in Leeds has been given the green light by government.
The third and final part of a major scheme to fix the Leeds Inner Relief Road can go ahead after the Department for Transport approved £16 million.
The scheme, as originally bid for, consists of essential maintenance to 3 large highway structures on the A58M Leeds Inner Ring Road (IRR) at Woodhouse Tunnel, New York Road Viaduct and Lovell Park Road Bridge.
Work on the viaduct and bridge has been completed early, meaning motorists are already benefitting from the upgrades.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said:
This scheme will keep Leeds moving, boosting the economy of the city and surrounding area by allowing a vital road to remain open to traffic while a long term solution to local traffic issues is drawn up and delivered.
The £16 million we are putting into this project shows that the government is serious about investing in the infrastructure the country needs to drive economic growth both locally and nationally.
The A58M section of Leeds Inner Ring Road is of strategic importance to the Leeds City Council highway network and the economy of Leeds and the wider Leeds City Region. This work is required in order to keep the IRR open to traffic whilst a longer term strategy is developed. If the work is not carried out sections of the IRR may need to be closed to maintain public safety.
The Leeds Inner Relief Road Maintenance scheme was one of the schemes given funding approval in 2011 as part of the Spending Review process. Work can now start on the final element of the scheme - the Woodhouse Tunnel.
Today’s (24 October 2013) announcement grants Full (final) Approval to the Inner Relief Road Maintenance scheme promoted by Leeds City Council.
Work has already been completed on 2 of the elements - the New York Road Viaduct and Lovell Park Road Bridge. Work can now begin on the remaining element - the Woodhouse Tunnel.
The remaining works to the Woodhouse Tunnel are scheduled to start later this month with completion in March 2016. The long timescale is because the works can only be undertaken during a large number of short closures of the road if significant delay to traffic on this vital route in Leeds is to be avoided.
The department will provide a maximum of £16.344 million towards the full scheme cost of £24.955 million.