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Heysham To M6 Link Road Underway

7 April 2014

Costain has now been working on the long-awaited Heysham to M6 Link Road Scheme in Lancashire for over three months.

Just before Christmas, Prime Minister David Cameron visited the route whilst confirming funding for the new road, describing it as a “game-changer” for the area.

It will improve access from Heysham port to the national motorway system and aid congestion in the area. This will help the port develop as a hub for traffic to Ireland and beyond, and as a centre for supplying offshore gas fields and wind farms.

Costain had an Early Contractor Involvement arrangement for the £124.5 million project, which will see dual carriageway constructed from the A589 between Morecambe and Lancaster to an upgraded Junction 34 on the M6. The project will include a new bridge over the River Lune.

Initial work on the route has begun, with site clearance and fencing being set out. Site compounds and access routes have been created, allowing earthworks to get underway. An archaeological dig is also being carried out on a small section of the site.

As part of the scheme, works have included a crossing of Lancaster Canal. In the past few weeks engineers have installed two Portadam units that drain a section of the canal between the two dams. Costain is digging down to install the first manhole and will then be digging under the canal installing the 1,200mm diameter pipeline before sheet piling the banks, reinstating the towpath and re-opening up the canal to traffic.

Accesses to sections of the site are being developed along the scheme to allow better logistics of materials and reduce the impact on local traffic.

Diversions of services such as gas, BT, and water have commenced and are progressing well.

Working with the community is vital to Costain; the project team held four local exhibitions to give local residents the chance to meet Company representatives. Costain will also be creating a visitor centre to provide a point of contact for local people throughout the scheme.

Costain has also launched a fully-managed Twitter account in an attempt to be more visible to the social media-driven community. With short updates on works and traffic management notices, commuters are able to ‘follow’ the project and keep up-to-date on potential disruptions to their journeys. “The word is spreading, as the account has now surpassed 500 followers,” said Tom Horton, Community Liaison Officer.

Up to 3,000 people will be employed on construction of the road, with 100 local unemployed people receiving training and jobs on the project. “We have already engaged with several local companies, and we’ve already taken on over 30 previously unemployed local people,” said Project Manager, Andrew Langley.

The scheme is due for completion by the summer of 2016.