The civil engineering arm of construction firm Graham is to deliver works to redesign one of Liverpool’s most famous roads, making it more cycle-friendly, improving public spaces and reducing congestion.
The Strand runs past Royal Albert Docks, Liverpool One and the Three Graces, comprising the Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool building.
Two lanes, one in each direction, will be removed to improve the flow of traffic.
Cllr Sharon Connor, cabinet member for highways at Liverpool City Council, said: “By significantly redesigning how the junctions work we can take a lane out and the traffic will still flow better.”
Junctions at Water Street and Mann Island with Goree will be closed under the plans.
The scheme will also see the creation of a permanent segregated cycle lane to connect the south of Liverpool to the north, allowing cyclists to eventually ride the full length of the Mersey, from Otterspool to Southport.
Several trees, the planting of which is already underway, and public spaces, are also being installed as part of a wider strategy to promote walking in the city centre.
The 2km dual carriageway has not been redesigned since the 1950s and is often gridlocked at peak times.
The road has also become a hotspot for road accidents with four fatalities in the past two years, the city council said.
Designed by infrastructure firm Amey alongside Liverpool-based architect BCA Landscape, the first phase is scheduled to complete in September, with the second phase from Mann Island to Upper Parliament Street due to complete in spring 2021.
The project is part of the £47m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity scheme, which has already seen changes to Victoria Street and Dale Street and the removal of the Churchill Way Flyover. The scheme will also include a revamp of Lime Street near the train station and a new coach park.
Based on computer modelling, the council estimates that car journeys at peak times along The Strand, from the end of Leeds Street in the north to Upper Parliament Street in the south, will be reduced by more than a minute in both directions.
Cllr Conner said: “The road’s safety record is appalling. Redesigning the Strand has been a huge task and is critical to making Liverpool city centre fit for the future; safer, cleaner and greener for everyone to enjoy.”