The £2.4 million Highways Agency scheme at junction 11 of the motorway near Daresbury is being seen as playing a significant role in the creation of 15,000 jobs and almost 3,000 new homes in the area, served by the Daresbury science and innovation campus by 2020.
The work includes adding an extra lane to the exit slip road from the westbound M56 onto the roundabout at the junction, as well as creating a third lane on the A56 on the northern approach to the roundabout.
Traffic lights will also be installed at the junction, lanes around the roundabout will be widened, and the road will be resurfaced.
As part of the scheme, CCTV cameras will be fitted at the junction so that the Highways Agency can monitor incidents from its regional control centre in Newton-le-Willows and quickly take action to tackle congestion.
Jakub Malaj, Project Manager at the Highways Agency, said:
This is a major project which has the potential to support thousands of new jobs and homes in the area.
Sci-Tech Daresbury – the world-class science and innovation campus – is just over a mile away from the motorway and this new scheme will expand capacity at the junction, making it easier for many more people to reach it.
There will inevitably be some disruption while the work takes place but when it is completed there will be significant benefits for both the local and regional economy.
The majority of the project will be carried out overnight, but some lane closures will need to remain in place for safety reasons during the day.
The first stage of the work will require the closure of the westbound exit slip road and the eastbound entry slip road on the M56 between 8pm and 5am for three nights from Monday 10 November.
The southbound side of the A56 between the A558 Daresbury Expressway and the M56 junction will also be closed overnight between 8pm and 5am from Monday 10 November until Wednesday 17 December. Clearly signed diversions will be in place when roads are closed.
The project is due to be completed by the end of March 2015, and is among 123 in the government’s £317 million ‘pinch-point’ initiative – a two year programme of targeted work being carried out alongside larger schemes and routine maintenance and improvements on motorways and major A roads.
The pinch-point programme, devised with the input of councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships, is designed to help stimulate new development and local economic growth by improving road safety and tackling congestion bottle necks. In all, 28 projects, worth £66 million, are taking place across the North West.
More details and updates on the projects are available on the Highways Agency’s website.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.