Warrington East - Phases 2 and 3

Here's a summary of work in progress during the next few weeks from 1 April.

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Warrington East Phase 2

College Place

  • Operations have moved into the central island
  • Construction of the road widening facing Woolston Grange Avenue has begun
  • We've started the earthworks for the footway/cycleway network in the centre of the roundabout

Crab Lane / Fearnhead Lane Junction

  • We've started construction of the new footway on the east side of Crab Lane
  • Installation of traffic signal ducts for the new Toucan crossing

Oakwood Gate area

  • Construction has begun on the carriageway foundations and kerbs for the left turn lane and widening on the south side of Birchwood Way, west of Oakwood Gate
  • We've completed the footpath alongside Birchwood Way from Roberts Fold subway to the footbridge over Oakwood Gate

Traffic Management in operation

College Place

  • Narrow lanes westbound over the M6 bridge on approach to the junction, with one lane closed at off-peak times (0930 – 1600)
  • Off-peak lane closures on the roundabout and approaches (0930 - 1600)
  • Narrow lane on the Crab Lane exit from College Place towards Fearnhead Lane

Crab Lane / Fearnhead Lane Junction

  • Lane closures with temporary 3-way traffic lights at the junction, with manual control (0930 – 1530)

George Duckworth Island 

  • Off-peak lane closures (0930 – 1600) on George Duckworth Island and the approaches from Oakwood Gate (northbound), Birchwood Park Avenue (southbound) and on Birchwood Way westbound on both sides of the junction.
  • Narrow lanes on Birchwood Way westbound from Oakwood Gate.

Warrington East Phase 3

  • Cutting back of overgrown vegetation on the north verge of Birchwood Way to maintain forward visibility for drivers
  • Building up the embankment for the new Carriageway

Traffic Management in operation

  • Narrow lanes from Moss Gate to M62, 30mph speed limit
  • Temporary traffic signals and a lane closure will be in place for the remaining vegetation clearance. These will be off-peak (Monday to Friday 0930-1530) with manual control
  • Layby near M62 junction 11 closed

Warrington East phases 2 and 3 project overview

Background on phase 2

The Warrington East phase 2 project is designed to improve overall traffic flow along the A574 Birchwood Way, reducing congestion, improving road safety and general accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians. The project follows the success of the Birchwood Pinchpoint (Phase 1) and is funded from the Cheshire and Warrington Growth Deal and our own Capital Investment Programme.

The project will see junction improvements on Birchwood Way at College Place, Oakwood Gate and Blackbrook Avenue. The improvement at Blackbrook Avenue was completed in November 2018.

Construction of Phase 2 started in July 2018 with the project due to be completed in December 2019 (except for landscaping, which will follow in Spring 2020). The principal contractor is Balfour Beatty Civils Limited.

The plans

Background on phase 3

The Warrington East phase 3 project will make the section of Birchwood Way from the Daten Avenue / Moss Gate junction to the M62 junction 11 into a dual carriageway. A new carriageway for traffic travelling towards Warrington will be constructed to the south of the existing carriageway with the existing carriageway carrying traffic towards the M62. There will be two lanes on each carriageway.

The aim of this project is to provide additional traffic capacity whilst reducing congestion in and out of Birchwood. This is the last stage in the series of improvements to Birchwood Way that were started in 2015 (Birchwood Pinch Points project) and more recently the Warrington East phase 2 project that is now under construction. These projects will support access to new employment proposals in east Warrington whilst supporting existing jobs especially in the Birchwood Enterprise Zone.

A stakeholder engagement for the scheme was carried out in May 2018 with feedback illustrating extensive support for the scheme.

As part of the scheme the motorway roundabout at Junction 11 will be resurfaced with new road markings to improve capacity and safety. The existing vegetation on the south side of Birchwood Way will be removed to make space for the new carriageway and the vegetation on the north side will be trimmed back. Ecology surveys have been carried out work to protect Great Crested Newts in the area has been successfully completed. There will be a landscaping scheme for the south side of the road to blend into the remaining woodland. This road is an important gateway to Warrington and the landscaping scheme has been designed to enhance its appearance.

Construction of the scheme started in December 2018, with the main construction work starting in January 2019 and lasting about 12 months before it's fully complete. The construction of the project will be run parallel with the Warrington East Phase 2 scheme that's currently being built between Blackbrook Avenue and Oakwood Gate with the same contractor, Balfour Beatty, building the Phase 3 scheme. This approach will provide cost savings benefits and minimise the overall duration of traffic disruption in the area.

Two-way traffic will be maintained on Birchwood Way while the new carriageway is being built, with work taking place behind a safety barrier. There will be some off-peak lane restrictions at the end of the scheme where the new carriageway joins the existing one. We'll also need to undertake some night time road closures for necessary resurfacing works, however we'll coordinated these with the M62 Managed Motorway scheme.

The cost of the scheme is approximately £9.4M and is being funded by:

  • National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) (£4M)
  • Funding transfer from Warrington East Phase 2 (£2.646M)
  • Warrington BC capital borrowing (£2.75M)