Fylde’s long-awaited M55 link road ‘progressing well’

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Work is progressing well on the M55 to Heyhouses Link Road according to highways bosses.

 

A little more than three months on from the start of work, there’s some way to go before the new link from Ansdell to the motorway network at Peel is completed and open to traffic, which is likely to be early 2024.

But the road structure is already being beginning to emerge after work started at the end of June.

Construction has begun at the existing Whitehills roundabout to the north, with base foundations having been laid for the first 1.4km towards where it will eventually meet Heyhouses Lane near Cypress Point.

The new road taking shaping alongside the old moss road

The new road taking shaping alongside the old moss road

New pictures show work is underway on M55 link road

That has so far involved the laying of 21,000 square metres of high strength geotextile with 11,000 tonnes of stone on top to form a drainage layer.

This compacts the peaty ground on the alignment of the road, helping to stabilise it in readiness for the construction of the upper layers, and is also used by the construction team for access.

Equipment has also been installed to monitor the ground as it settles, along with pipework as part of the drainage system for the road and archaeologists and ecologists are working with the construction team to oversee the removal of vegetation and topsoil.

The contractors hard at work

The contractors hard at work

Further work has taken place to install ducting so high voltage overhead powerlines can be diverted below ground.

County Coun Charlie Edwards, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We have a series of professional and dedicated teams on site making good progress with this vital project.”

Coun Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Council, said: “Residents have waited so long for this road I’ve lost count of the times I heard people say ‘it will never be built’.

“But now promises are coming good and construction is underway. This link to the M55 will make all the difference for commuters and will greatly enhance access to Fylde for tourists and visitors.

Drainage is a key part of the construction process

Drainage is a key part of the construction process

“I can’t wait for its completion.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “I have fought hard for this new road which will bring enormous benefits for people living in Lytham and St Annes and will help unlock the economic potential of our communities. I am pleased to see no time is being wasted and the teams on site are making good progress.

“After dealing with so many issues and challenges it is fantastic to see work is going well.”

The road is being funded thanks to contributions from or managed through the Department for Transport, Highways England, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Lancashire County Council, Fylde Council, and secured from development.

Getting the foundations in place

Getting the foundations in place

Debbie Francis, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “The LEP invested in this scheme to not only provide an important transport link but also improve access to the nearby Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone and unlock vital local jobs and homes on the Fylde.

“While there is still a way to go before the road is open, it is brilliant to see progress and the scheme beginning to take shape.”

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