A major milestone has been reached in a motorway link-road project through Wigan, council bosses have said.
The new route – completing a connection from an M58 and M6 junction to the outskirts of the town centre – has been designed to ease congestion and improve air quality.
Bird’s-eye view images have been released of beams being laid for a bridge over the Leeds-Liverpool canal for the A49 link.
Engineers will now move onto the construction of a second bridge over Poolstock Lane.
Council director Becca Heron said: “Once the link road is complete, there will be many benefits including providing businesses and residents with better east-west connectivity in the borough, which is a vital part of the borough’s economic growth strategy.”
The 70 tonne, 32m-long metal bridge beams have been installed over a section of canal adjacent to Scotman’s Flash.
Works will start on the second bridge this month with a third – over Smithy Brook – to be completed later this year.
The A49 link-road has been funded in part by the GM combined authority’s Growth Deal with the council waiting on a bid for further funding from central government on a wider road project.
This section forms part of plans to join the M58/M6 in the west of the borough to the M61 in the east with around a dozen separate projects.
An application was submitted in March for around £132m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), with the new routes potentially ‘unlocking’ strategic sites for around 9,000 homes in the borough.
Diversions will be in place for a section of Poolstock Lane from midnight on Saturday, May 25 through to the early hours of Monday, May 27 as the works continue, the council has said.
Eryl Evans of road construction firm Jones Bros, said: “We appreciate that (the road closure) may cause some inconvenience, but we are committed to delivering a high-quality project.
“Safety is our key priority when undertaking these projects, so it is imperative that we take all the necessary precautions.”