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Bridge milestone for £53m Poynton Relief Road scheme

LEP 11/03/2022

The final five bridge beams have been lifted into place.

Work on the much anticipated £53m Poynton Relief Road scheme has reached a major milestone.

The final five bridge beams have been lifted into place for the new Chester Road bridge.

A 500-tonne crane was used to lift the 22.5m-long beams into position, with each beam weighing 37.8 tonnes. The operation was completed within a day and the beams now form part of the largest structure in the scheme.

The 3km Poynton Relief Road will relieve Poynton and neighbouring areas of high traffic volumes and congestion as well as improve air quality for residents and open up employment land.

During March, concrete will be poured to form the west abutment for the Adlington bridge, marking the completion of all major concrete works across all the project’s structures. Other ongoing works include installation of drainage systems.

A second season of major earthworks will start early next month. The road is due to open to traffic at the end of the year.

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council and chair of the authority’s highways and transport committee, said: “This is an impressive achievement by our construction contractors Graham, and a key milestone in progressing this important and long-awaited scheme. I congratulate all on a smooth operation.

“This scheme shows the council’s commitment to deliver major infrastructure improvements for Cheshire East and will improve links to Macclesfield, the surrounding area, south Manchester and the airport. It will also open up some much-needed employment land, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in the area.”

The relief road will include two overbridge crossings for use by walkers, cyclists and farm vehicles and a 3.5m-wide combined cycle and footway, which will run beside the length of the route in the western verge.

Nick Hodder, project manager at Graham, said: “We’re pleased with the progress being made on the Poynton Relief Road scheme and reaching the milestone of the beam lifting for the new Chester Road bridge. The lift was a delicate operation delivered carefully by our project team to ensure a safe and timely installation of the beams, which will support the new bridge. 

“We now focus our attention on completing the remaining concrete works and earthworks to prepare for the opening of this much-anticipated relief road later this year.”

Cheshire East Council contributed £21m towards the cost of the road scheme with Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership providing £5.6m from the government’s Growth Deal and the Department for Transport providing £16.4m. A total of £7.7m is planned to come from developer contributions.

For more information on the Poynton Relief Road and to read the latest updates, visit: