Work will begin next month building a bridge across one of Wigan’s busiest roads as part of a plan to make it far less busy in the future.
Creation of a major section of the A49 link road is now well under way, but it may have escaped some people’s attentions that where it traverses the notoriously snarled-up Poolstock Lane, there won’t be a bridge – but a fly-over.
Artists’ impressions sent to the Wigan Post when the relief road was first announced six years ago covered every section of the road between Westwood Park and Warrington Road, Worsley Mesnes, except the Poolstock section.
But engineers confirmed that they will be embarking on building a bridge over the route in the next few weeks.
Another bridge will also carry traffic over the canal and between two of the wildlife-rich flashes, before emerging at Westwood Park.
When completed it will relegate Poolstock to a residential road and the traffic lights at Marus Bridge will reflect this by letting less traffic through.
Fans of the flashes haven’t been fully supportive of the scheme, fearing that it could harm some of the good environmental work done in the area over the last 20 years to encourage a broad range of fauna and flora to establish themselves there.
But the official conservation line is that it is the “least worst solution” and that all manner of steps are being taken to minimise disruption.
The bridge will cross Poolstock near to the Tippings Arms and the section, which leads up to the new housing estate off Warrington Road, is expected to be completed within 18 months.
It forms another chunk of what was once known as Route 225, whose ultimate aim was to connect the M6 with the M61. Another section of it will see motorists head up Smithy Brook Road and come out near Pemberton Railway station.
The last section on the eastern side of the road will travel up the back of Pemberton and come out at the M6/M58 junction at Orrell.
Jones Bros Ruthin (Civil Engineering) Co Limited has been tasked with constructing the route between Worsley Mesnes and Westwood.
Council chiefs see the road as a major key to future borough prosperity because it should help to ease traffic congestion on Wigan’s notoriously log-jammed infrastructure, and also free up hitherto inaccessible sites for development, both of which make the area more attractive to potential investors.
A new artist’s impression of the Poolstock bridge is set to be published within the coming weeks, the council says.