Highways England has set out preferred options for two major new road schemes worth more than £300m in Merseyside and Cheshire.
The schemes include a £250m new three-mile dual carriageway bypass between the motorway network and the Port of Liverpool that aims to take freight away from residential areas on the A5036 – identified as being the 10th most congested road in England.
The bypass will run through the Rimrose Valley connecting Princess Way to Broom’s Cross Road and will not only serve the existing port but also the new £300m deep-water container terminal, which is expected to triple the port’s volume of goods by 2030.
The plans also include a new £60m junction 11a on the M56 near Runcorn that will provide a new link to the Mersey Gateway bridge between Runcorn and Widnes, and improve local access to the motorway.
Tim Gamon, Highways England’s regional delivery director for the North West, said: ‘Both these major road schemes will help to bring significant economic benefits to the North West and we’re now at the stage where we can set out our preferred options for the projects.
‘The new bypass will take the existing traffic away from the A5036 as well as managing the significant increase in vehicle numbers that are anticipated with the port’s growth. We’re also committed to making improvements to the existing A5036 as part of the scheme that will benefit people who live and work in the area.
‘The new junction on the M56 will also benefit local residents by taking traffic away from residential areas as well as providing a new route to the Mersey Gateway bridge – an important new link between Cheshire and Merseyside.’
Highways England said a new roundabout, controlled by traffic lights, will also be built at the junction connecting Broom’s Cross Road, Brickwall Lane and the planned bypass, while Broom’s Cross Road will be upgraded to a dual carriageway from the new roundabout to Switch Island, where the A5036 connects with the M57 and M58.
The planned junction between junctions 11 and 12 will provide a more direct route to the M56 from south Runcorn as well as connecting to the Mersey Gateway bridge.
The junction will link to a new crossroads for the A533 Southern Expressway and Murdishaw Avenue, north of the motorway. The crossroads will replace the existing roundabout and be controlled by traffic lights, which will use sensors in the road to respond to changes in traffic levels.
Detailed designs for both major road projects will now be developed, with construction work due to start by spring 2020.