Cheshire East Council’s cabinet (7 July) have authorised the council to make a compulsory purchase order and side road order to enable the delivery of the project.
Initial construction work was scheduled to start in 2021, with an estimated 20-month period, subject to planning, land agreements and funding approvals.
However, due to the severe wet weather experienced this past winter and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ground investigation works have been delayed and won’t now be complete to later this year.
The impact of this delay has pushed the start of construction into winter 2021/22, with an estimated 22-month construction period. The bypass is anticipated to open in 2023.
The scheme designers (Jacobs) have managed to mitigate some of the delay by reducing the amount of imported material to construct the bypass. In effect this has shortened the construction period and overall programme, saving approximately £3.5 million in construction costs.
Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This scheme will be a tremendous asset to Middlewich and the surrounding areas. The planned 2.6km, two-way single carriageway road will connect to Cledford Lane and the A533 to the south-east.
“The plans will also support the delivery of housing and employment in the town and include a combined cycleway and footway, as a demonstration of our commitment to active travel.”
Residents who have concerns about this scheme can visit: https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/highways_and_roads/roadworks/major-projects/middlewich-eastern-bypass/middlewich-eastern-bypass.aspx for more information.