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Exhibitions For M6 Project

19 July 2011

Costain has recently supported client Lancashire County Council at several public exhibitions as consultation continues on the Heysham to M6 Link road. This is part of the pre-application phase of the application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) for development consent.

The IPC is a new body that aims to streamline the UK’s sometimes lengthy planning process for strategically-important projects.

Lancashire County Council Project Director, Steve McCreesh, said: “Not only are we likely to be the first local authority to take a scheme through the IPC process, but it is likely to be the first highway scheme as well. The exhibitions were well attended and it was very useful having the Costain members of the team with us to answer the questions about the construction process.

“The IPC process covers all aspects of the proposals, including site compounds and construction routes, and therefore the Costain involvement has been essential.”

Costain was awarded the Heysham to M6 Link project on an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) basis in May 2010, but works were suspended to await the outcome of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review. Costain continued to work with Lancashire County Council to develop Value Engineering savings to help the project through the various phases of the review.

Having successfully passed through the phases of the review, including a best and final funding offer that resulted in a saving of 16% to the Department for Transport, the scheme was included in the list of nine local authority schemes to progress.

The Heysham to M6 Link scheme will provide the long-awaited connection from the M6 at Junction 34 to the Morecambe and Heysham peninsula. Once completed, the dual carriageway will provide improved access for businesses located in Heysham and Morecambe, including the port and nuclear power stations, opening up large areas for regeneration and reducing bottlenecks and congestion currently experienced within Lancaster caused by traffic trying to access these areas. 

Costain Project Manager, Andrew Langley, said: “The technically challenging scheme consists of the construction of 4.8km-long, two-lane, all-purpose dual carriageway, and a further 4.8km of slip roads as part of the M6 Junction 34 remodelling. It also includes a new crossing of the River Lune on a 200m-long bridge adjacent to the current motorway bridge.”

The project also provides for:
• A 600-space park-and-ride facility at the new Junction 34 with a dedicated bus service to Lancaster;
• Reconfiguration of  major junctions at A589 Morecambe Road and A683 Caton Road M6 Junction 34;
• Several grade-separated crossings including the West Coast Main Line railway, Lancaster Canal, the A6 Lancaster Road and the River Lune;
• Alterations to three existing road bridges;
• And significant works with statutory undertakers, including diversion of two high pressure gas mains.

If all now proceeds smoothly, start date for the new road is summer 2013, with completion due in late 2015.