The £90m highways project has been opened to traffic following its completion by contractor Graham.
The 5.5km Wolstenholme Elmy Way joins the A534 Sandbach Road to the west and the A536 Macclesfield Road to the north. The project has released close to 50 acres of employment land.
The route had opened to the public to walk and cycle along at the weekend before opening to vehicles for the working week.
Described by Cheshire East Council as the borough’s largest infrastructure project to date, the road is named after pioneering educationalist and suffragette Elizabeth Clarke Wolstenholme Elmy.
The route is intended to relieve the town of some of its historical traffic problems, create space for cyclists and pedestrians and improve air quality for residents, while opening up development opportunities.
Sites such as Viking Park, bought by Clowes Developments from Richborough Estates on gaining consent in March, will both be opened up by the road, and will make a contribution to its cost through developer payments.
The link road has been delivered within budget, with only a minor delay from its late 2020 target, largely caused by the Covid pandemic.
Frank Jordan, Cheshire East’s executive director for place, said: “The opening of Wolstenholme Elmy Way is a real cause for celebration and a fine achievement – not only for the council, Graham and road users but, above all, the people of Congleton.
“Traffic congestion has previously restricted town centre growth, reduced inward investment and also made it a challenge to retain existing businesses.
“Cheshire East Council is delighted this complex and significant project has been successfully delivered despite the additional challenges of two extremely wet winters and the unprecedented impact of the Covid pandemic.”
Cheshire East is contributing £24m towards the scheme with central Government and developer contributions meeting the balance.
Planning for the link road began back in 2012 with various routes considered before a planning application was filed in September 2015, consent following in July 2016.
Following DfT funding approval, the council completed land acquisition in 2018, with Graham beginning construction in early 2019.