Belfast Telegraph

Construction firm Graham in £44m deal to build link road in Cheshire

By Ryan McAleer

Construction firm Graham has secured a £44m major link road contract in the north west of England.

The Co Down-based company has been confirmed by Cheshire East Council as the winning tender for the construction of  the 5.5km road to the town of Congleton.

Calling the project “crucial”, the local authority said it would help deliver “economic and social regeneration” to the area.

Graham came out on top following a competitive tendering process.

The company stated that it had ranked first overall after it demonstrated its technical expertise.

The new Congleton link road will join the A534 Sandbach Road, to the west of Congleton, with the A536 Macclesfield Road, to the north of the town.

It is anticipated that the project will significantly reduce town centre traffic congestion, particularly at peak times.

Work is due to start in November and set to be completed by late 2020.

Managing director of Graham’s civil engineering wing, Leo Martin, said the contract was “a real coup” for the firm.

He said: “We are vastly experienced in completing complex highways projects throughout the UK and we will be tapping into this expertise to ensure completion of the link road to the very highest standards. 

“This scheme will do so much more than take vehicles away from the centre; it will also boost the local economy and create new avenues for growth.”

Graham said that the project will involve cutting the road 8m  deep into mudstone in a 25m high slope, before traversing the River Dane with an 85m-long bridge, and landing on a 12m  high embankment.

Two further road bridge crossings and two underpasses will be constructed while 3.5km of realigned and new local roads represent an additional portion of the works programme.

There will also be landscaping and environmental mitigation to accommodate wildlife species such as great crested newts and bats, and ancient woodland.

Mr Martin added: “There are a range of civil engineering challenges associated with this project particularly in an area subject to a high water table and, which requires environmental sensitivity.

“Targeted research has given our team a comprehensive understanding of the wider Congleton town area and the bespoke requirements of the specification.

“Work may officially begin in November but preparation is already well underway so that our highways team is well placed to deliver a quality piece of critical infrastructure that will exceed the council’s expectations.”

Belfast Telegraph

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