Contractor John Sisk & Son has been appointed to build a 2.2km link road from junction 19 of the M62 to Pilsworth Road, a £14m scheme deemed crucial to unlock £150m of development sites in South Heywood.
Sisk, which has worked on major projects including Crossrail, The Royal Academy of Arts in London and the M58 in Sefton, was selected by Rochdale Borough Council following a competitive tendering process. The contract has previously been named as worth £24.5m.
Rochdale’s development partner Russell Homes advanced a hybrid application for the road and some development sites in 2018. The appointment paves the way for work to start on the road, which is expected to support the creation of 1,000 new homes, a new primary school, and around 1.5m sq ft of employment space.
The Government’s £900m Getting Building Fund has provided £10m to support the delivery of the road, with other contributions coming from the Department for Transport, through the Greater Manchester Combined Authority; Highways England; and Russell.
Preparatory works by Sisk are expected to start in the autumn, with road completion set for spring 2022.
Cllr Neil Emmott, cabinet member for environment at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “This is a proud moment for the borough and the result of many years of hard work by the council and Rochdale Development Agency.
“The new link road will bring significant improvements for residents and businesses in the Heywood and Middleton areas by providing a new direct access route from the M62 into the Heywood employment area, which will reroute HGV traffic away from Heywood, Birch and Bowlee.”
As part of the contract, Sisk aims to recruit 80% of project staff from Rochdale and the surrounding area and ensure 65% of project spend is with local suppliers
Russell Homes director, Andrew Russell, said: “The link road is a vital piece of infrastructure. The link road will significantly improve connectivity for the South Heywood industrial zone and help attract businesses to existing and new commercial premises under development in the area.
“[Those developments have] the potential to create around 2,800 new jobs, and benefit the hundreds of new homes which are set to be delivered over the coming years.”