Just a week after confirming that the £290 million Manchester Airport relief road was still on schedule to open this Spring, Stockport Council has today announced it has been hit by further delays.
The 10km A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road (A6MARR), designed to improve transport links across Stockport, Manchester and Cheshire East, was originally due to open by autumn 2017 after two and a half years of construction works.
In April 2017, Stockport Council announced that the opening of the A6MARR had been delayed until Spring 2018 due to heavy rainfall.
However today, Wednesday 14th February, Stockport Council has announced that due to a number factors the road will now open in late summer 2018.
Last month Carillion, one of the primary contractors for the project, went into liquidation leaving the other contractor Morgan Sindall to take over the delivery of the project.
In addition to the collapse of Carillion, the further delays are being blamed on sustained periods of bad weather and the ground conditions, which are more challenging than anticipated.
Stockport Council have also recently become aware of significant problems with the highway drain under the A555 which needs to be repaired urgently to stop a potential road collapse. This emergency repair work has required the full closure of the A555 westbound from the A34 to Wilmslow Road for 17 weeks - which was not part of the original work planned on the relief road.
Councillor Kate Butler, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Stockport Council commented: "The A6MARR project has faced a number of challenges and whilst a lot of work has taken place to reduce their impact they have affected progress on the project, and unfortunately we will be unable to open the road as planned this spring. On behalf of the whole project team, I apologise for this further delay and want to assure residents and businesses that we are continuing to work very closely with the contractor to get work completed and the road open as soon as possible.
"Whilst this news is disappointing, when it opens the A6MARR will bring many benefits for residents and companies throughout the area, reducing congestion on our roads and bringing jobs and business opportunities closer than they ever have been before."