The A6 to Manchester Airport relief road will open to traffic on Monday 15 October after a series of delays, although the project is set to complete within its allotted budget of £290m.
The two-lane dual carriageway stretches from Hazel Grove to Manchester Airport, via four kilometres of the existing A555 and a link road to the M56.
Works have included the delivery of seven new road junctions, 11 bridges, 10km of single and dual carriageway, a shared cycle and pedestrian path running parallel to the road, and more than 9.6m sq ft of grassland, hedgerows and woodland.
The road has been more than 17 years in the planning having been adopted as transport policy by local government in 2001. A joint venture of Morgan Sindall and Carillion has delivered the road, although Morgan Sindall has completed the project after Carillion’s collapse this year; this has also led to some delays, with the road originally scheduled to open in 2017.
Although Stockport Council said the project had been delivered within budget, documents revealed there had been some discussions between council and contractor over claims for escalating costs; over the project’s life there have been over 250 compensation events which “generated substantial discussions with the contractor”, said the council.
The council also admitted the cost of the scheme had increased due to issues including unexpected ground conditions; flooding events; changes to the method of construction; and the level of ecological mitigation measures.
Earlier this week, Stockport Council’s cabinet agreed a settlement with the contractor, although the details of this settlement have not been disclosed.
Ahead of the its opening, the council is holding an open day for pedestrians and cyclists to see the road. This will take place on Sunday 7 October.
Cllr Kate Butler, cabinet member for economy and regeneration at Stockport Council said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce the opening date for the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road, which is going to make it even easier for people to travel in and around our region.
“This has been one of the largest and most complex local authority road schemes on site in the UK over recent years and we’ve really appreciated all of the help, patience and support given by residents during the construction work – we know it has been hard at times.”