One of Manchester’s key motorway link roads is in line for a new year upgrade to make journeys smoother and safer for the 90,000 drivers who use it every day.
Highways England is improving a two-mile stretch of the M56, known as the Sharston Link, between junction 3 of the M60 at Cheadle and junction 3a of the M56 at Wythenshawe.
The five-week project, which is due to start on Wednesday 9 January, includes resurfacing the entire route, repairing sections of the carriageway, replacing road markings, and installing new reflective road studs and traffic sensors. Repair work will also be carried out on a bridge which carries the motorway over a railway line.
Most of the work will take place overnight to keep disruption to the minimum, with diversions in place when sections of the motorway need to be closed.
Two weekend closures will also be needed to carry out structural repairs to the motorway. Highways England has scheduled the closures to take place on two of the quietest weekends of the year for motorway traffic, when there are no home matches for Manchester United or Manchester City.
Rob Williams, project manager at Highways England, said:
“The upgrade we’re planning for the M56 will result in much smoother and safer journeys for the rest of 2019 and beyond.
“We’re doing everything we can to minimise disruption but will need to close parts of the motorway during two weekends for major road reconstruction work.
“We’ve chosen two of the quietest weekends of the year to carry out the work but are still advising drivers to allow extra time for their journeys, especially if they’re heading to Manchester Airport for a winter getaway.”
The first weekend closure will take place on the eastbound carriageway between 9pm on Friday 11 January and 5am on Monday 14 January. A second closure is being planned on the westbound carriageway during the last weekend in January but this will be postponed if next week’s FA Cup draw results in a home match being played by Manchester City or Manchester United during that weekend.
The diversion route for the weekend closures will take drivers along the M60 to turn around at junction 5 as well as on the A5103 Princess Parkway.
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