Wigan's new link road has opened
Wigan’s major new A49 link road has been opened to traffic.
The route was officially launched by the council leader David Molyneux at 8pm on Friday.
The project, which will help connect the town centre with the M6 and runs from Westwood Way, past Scotman’s Flash, over Poolstock Lane and onto Warrington Road at Goose Green, has been delivered by civil engineering firm Jones Bros.
Designed to ease congestion and improve air quality along current routes, it includes new highway and four bridges.
Coun Molyneux said: “The completion of the road is a boost for the borough and will provide quicker journey times for those commuting in and out of the town centre.
“I’m delighted to declare the road officially open and look forward to those who live, work and visit Wigan borough benefitting from this new infrastructure.”
Jones Bros has invested more than £2m into the local economy by working with borough-based suppliers and companies for materials, security support and drilling works on-site.
Three local apprentices were also recruited for the project and will remain working with the civil engineering company to continue their careers.
Jones Bros also engaged significantly with the community, including holding an artwork competition with a local school, giving young children the opportunity to have their designs on the sites’ hoardings.
Coun Molyneux added: “The A49 project is a key part of our wider plans for better connectivity across the borough, helping to generate economic growth.
“Since Jones Bros started on-site in late 2018, they have been committed and professional, working hard during testing times to ensure the project can be completed.”
Jones Bros managing director John Dielhof said: “We are pleased our first major project for Wigan Council has been such a success.
“As well as delivering infrastructure that will benefit local people and visitors to the area, we are confident our work in the community will provide a lasting legacy.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank commuters for their patience during the works.
“The on-site team have overcome a number of challenges throughout the scheme and it’s testament to their positive attitude and capabilities that this much-needed link road has been completed on budget and on schedule.”
The A49 link road connects Warrington Road and Goose Green to Westwood Park and the town centre at the Poolstock and Chapel Lane junction.
The project received more than £20m from the government’s Local Growth Fund through the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is managed by Transport for Greater Manchester.
The Fund is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport.
Alex Cropper, TfGM’s Head of Operations, said: “We’re delighted to have played a part in helping to deliver the A49 Link Road Project.
“Not only will the new link provide easier access to and from Wigan town centre for tens of thousands of commuters, it will also help to alleviate congestion and improve air quality in the area.
“The project marks a considerable investment in Wigan’s long-term economic growth and was achieved through positive partnership working with the Council and key delivery partners.”
The road forms part of an even more ambitious route aimed at joining up the M61 at Westhoughton with the M6 at Orrell. The next sections which look likely to be built would be from Goose Green, across the former Pemberton Colliery land, up the back of Pemberton to join junction 26 at the M6/M58 intersection.
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