Work on a series of ponds being provided as an integral feature of the new A556 Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway, is underlining the environmental credentials of the £192 million Highways England project.
In all, 4 ponds are being provided along the length of the 4.5 mile new road. They are designed to deal with rain water and other ‘run-off’ from the road surface which is often contaminated by engine oil and fuel spilled from vehicles as well as other liquids and debris from collisions and breakdowns.
As well as collecting the run-off, the special ‘attenuation’ ponds will slowly filter contaminates out of the water before it can be released safely at a controlled rate into the River Bollin.
The first of the 4 ponds, known as Pond ‘D’, is nearing completion and is on Yarwood Heath sandwiched between the existing slip road from the M56 up to Bowdon roundabout and a new dedicated link road and roundabout – which will service the new dual carriageway – to the west of it.
Jonathan Stokes, Highways England’s A556 project manager, said:
A number of people have asked us about the pond at Yarwood Heath and why it’s being provided. The use of attenuation ponds along the new A556 will significantly reduce the amount of water currently ending up untreated in the local water courses.
These ponds will considerably improve the environmental credentials of the link between the M56 and M6. They are sustainable and aesthetically pleasing and as well as providing filtration for day to day run-off from the new road, the ponds will act as holding tanks in the event of severe flooding or a major spillage from a collision.
Providing the ponds is just one of the environmental improvement measures in the scheme. The project also includes improved and dedicated facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders along the existing A556 road and providing a unique ‘green’ bridge – for the use of farm and wild animals - across the new dual carriageway near Mere.
Construction of the new link roads and roundabout arrangements around Bowdon and junction 7 of the M56 should be completed this summer with the new bypass opening in spring of next year.
Anyone seeking updates on progress with the project, including phases of traffic management, can visit the dedicated project page.