Middlewich Eastern Bypass Route
The route of the Middlewich Eastern Bypass

Balfour Beatty in line for £113m Cheshire roads deal

Contractor Balfour Beatty is being lined up to deliver both the Middlewich Bypass and the dualling of the A500 as Cheshire East prepares to push ahead with construction on both projects, worth nearly £113m combined.

The council’s two major roads projects will be progressed at a cabinet meeting next week, with start dates set for both schemes. Cheshire East will use the Scape framework to deliver both projects; Balfour Beatty is the sole contractor on this framework.

The larger of the two is the Middlewich Eastern Bypass, valued at nearly £58.5m. The proposed road is around 2.7km long and will run from the Salt Cellar roundabout on the A54, to Booth Lane, south of Middlewich. The single carriageway road is expected to unlock significant amounts of housing and employment land south of the town.

It has been supported by £46.8m of Government cash along with a further £11.2m from the council’s capital budget and from developer contributions.

A planning application for the bypass was submitted in November 2018 and is due to be determined in March 2019; following this, a pre-construction agreement is likely to begin to bring the scheme to site. If all goes to plan, construction could start in 2020.

According to the council up to 1,160 new homes and 6,500 new jobs are expected to be created once the scheme is complete.

Cheshire East is also using the Scape framework to deliver the £54m dualling of the A500, which secured planning permission in December last year.

The road runs between Nantwich and Stoke to the south of Crewe, and provides the main route between Crewe and Junction 16 of the M6; the dualled road is intended to be a key link between the motorway network and Crewe’s proposed new HS2 hub.

Widening of the road will cover a stretch between Junction 16 of the M6 and the junction with the A531 at Meremoor Moss Roundabout, which is currently single carriageway, to alleviate congestion around Crewe.

Like the Middlewich Bypass the bulk of the funding is coming from central Government, with the remaining £11.4m coming from local contributions.

Subject to business case approval, and a CPO process which is due to begin in the coming weeks, the project could start on site in spring 2020.

Cheshire East said the dualling of the road could enable the delivery of nearly 161 acres of employment land along with 7,700 new homes in Crewe.

The council is due to discuss both projects at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday 15 January, and sign off the necessary steps to push the schemes forward towards construction.

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