Press release

M56 slip road closure extended to bring work forward

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Drivers in Cheshire are being advised the slip road from the A556 onto the westbound M56 will now remain closed until early December as Highways England has brought forward construction work and cancelled a second closure in February.

A556 Bridge

The slip road, off the southbound A556 after Bowdon roundabout, forms junction 8 of the M56 and was closed at the end of September as part of construction work on the new £192 million A556 link road between the M56 and M6.

The slip road was initially scheduled to re-open in October but has remained closed due to extra time needed for United Utilities to investigate a previously uncharted water pipe uncovered during bridge refurbishment. That work is taking longer than expected so Highways England has rescheduled the refurbishment programme, bringing forward some other works and cancelling February’s planned second slip road closure.

Jonathan Stokes, Project Manager at Highways England, said:

We would like to apologise to drivers for the extended closure of the slip road but given the delay whilst United Utilities dealt with the pipe we’ve brought forward some of our own work and won’t need to close the slip road again in February which will actually reduce the overall closure period.

The weather in February is likely to be far more challenging in terms of providing safe and predictable working conditions and opportunities so we’re doing that work now.

Construction work on the new link road – which will bypass most of the existing route – began in November and is planned to open early in 2017.

The closure of junction 8 is for work to refurbish the Chester Road bridge, which carries the A556 and start of the slip road over the motorway.

Drivers needing to access the westbound M56 can use alternative motorway junctions, such as junction 6 at Hale, or join the westbound M56 from the M6 at Lymm Interchange via the A56 through Lymm, A50 to junction 20 of the M6, and southbound M6 to the interchange.

More information about the project, closures or diversion routes is available on the scheme page.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 6 November 2015