Contractor Graham has started work on the Congleton Link Road, the £90m project Cheshire East Council believes can help create 3,000 jobs, 2,400 homes and close to 50 acres of employment land.
Mitigation measures linked to the scheme’s impact on the Cheshire landscape include the planting of 25 acres of woodland and shrubs, 16km of hedgerows, 81 acres of grassland and six ponds.
The 5.5km road is expected to cut journey times across Congleton by six minutes at peak times and contribute towards better air quality in the town centre.
The route for the link road will run to the north of the town, south of Eaton. It will link the A534 Sandbach Road, near its junction with Sandy Lane, to the A536 Macclesfield Road, near its junction with Moss Lane.
It will also create improved road connections to both Congleton Business Park and Radnor Park trading estate.
There have long been calls for a bypass in the area, and the project went to public inquiry in 2017.
Cheshire East Council is contributing £24m towards the construction project, with the balance coming from central government and developer contributions.
Cllr Rachel Bailey, leader of the council, described the scheme as the largest capital project ever undertaken by the local authority. She added: “I’m thrilled that we were successful with our business case, which has resulted in £45m of the project funding coming from government funds.
“This council started developing a proposal for a new road around Congleton to match our growth plans back in 2012 and what we have achieved here is a scheme that doesn’t just enable our development plans; it complements, shapes them and levers in over £20m of private sector transport investment into Cheshire East.”
Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton said: “This new link road will improve connectivity right across east Cheshire by improving links to Manchester airport, the M60 and the M6. It will also improve connectivity to the rail network, particularly the inter-city connection at Crewe. This road is much wanted, much needed and will futureproof the development of Congleton for generations to come.”
The road is due to open in late 2020.