The A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road (A6MARR), one of the largest and most complex local authority road schemes currently on site in the UK, is now not due to open until late summer 2108.
Originally set to open in the autumn last year, and will improve transport links across Stockport, Manchester and Cheshire East for residents and businesses when it opens.
It was hoped that the relief road would be completed in the spring this year, however due to a number factors the road will now open in late summer 2018.
One of the primary contractors for the project were Carillion. Following their liquidation last month, Morgan Sindall has now taken over the delivery of the project and will be leading on the future construction. As lead authority for the project, Stockport Council is continuing to work closely with them to understand how this change affects the scheme and reduce any future impacts as much as possible.
Further to the news about Carillion, a number of other factors have also affected construction on the A6MARR:
- Since work began in 2015, contractors have faced sustained periods of bad weather. This has continued this winter with further heavy rain, meaning that plans to make up for previous delays have not been possible.
- Throughout construction detailed ground investigation surveys have been undertaken to inform the work taking place. As these have been completed, it has been found that the ground conditions are more challenging than investigative works anticipated. This combined with heavy rainfall has affected the speed of progress possible with the earthworks and construction.
- At the same time, Stockport Council have recently become aware of significant problems with the highway drain under the A555 which needs urgent and essential repairs to stop a potential road collapse and ensure the safety of motorists. This emergency repair work requires the full closure of the A555 westbound from the A34 to Wilmslow Road and was not part of the original work planned on the relief road but needs addressing urgently.
The A6MARR project team has been working – and will continue to work – with the contractor to reduce the impact of issues affecting the scheme’s programme and to get work completed as soon as possible.
We will do all we possibly can to keep the impacts on the surrounding roads to a minimum. Wherever and whenever possible, we will work hard to remove traffic management from the roads.
Councillor Kate Butler, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Stockport Council commented: “The A6MARR project has faced a number of challenges and whilst a lot of work has taken place to reduce their impact they have affected progress on the project, and unfortunately we will be unable to open the road as planned this spring. On behalf of the whole project team, I apologise for this further delay and want to assure residents and businesses that we are continuing to work very closely with the contractor to get work completed and the road open as soon as possible.
“Whilst this news is disappointing, when it opens the A6MARR will bring many benefits for residents and companies throughout the area, reducing congestion on our roads and bringing jobs and business opportunities closer than they ever have been before.”
To keep updated about the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road and the work taking place please visit www.semmms.info or follow us on Twitter at @A6MARR