THE first weekend closure of the A556 will take place next week as the final works to the new dual carriageway get underway.

Highways England, which is replacing the A556 between M56 junctions seven and eight, and M6 junction 9, has confirmed that the new road is set to open on Monday, March 6.

There will be three full weekend closures in order to complete the £192 million Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway.

The first weekend closure, will take place from 9pm next Friday, February 17 and 5am on Monday, February 20, allowing preparations for the old road to be sealed off to through traffic and for the motorway junctions to be tied into the new dual carriageway.

Paul Hampson, Highways England project manager, said: “We’re delighted to be able to confirm that we can start work next week on preparations to open the new road with the first of these 3 scheduled weekend closures.

“We appreciate there will be some inconvenience for people wanting to use the A556 and the two motorway junctions over these weekends but we have worked hard to plan diversions for through traffic and local road users, which will be clearly-signed.

“We’re working to publicise these but road users can help by taking a little bit of extra care in planning journeys, especially if they are heading to Manchester Airport on any of the three weekends.”

Motorway users will be diverted to alternative junctions to leave or join the M6 or M56:

Drivers on the northbound M6 heading for Manchester and Manchester Airport will need to stay on the M6, join the westbound M56 at Lymm Interchange (M6 junction 20) and then join the eastbound M56 at junction 10 (Stretton)

Drivers on the westbound M56 heading away from Manchester and wanting to join the southbound M6 will also need to travel to junction 10 at Stretton – joining the eastbound M56 from there to travel back to Lymm Interchange and access the southbound M6.

Local diversions, which will be strictly monitored, will also be in place with access to the A50, Chapel Lane and Mereside Road.

A one way system, travelling southbound, will be in place at Bucklow Hill to allow access for residents and businesses located between the Bucklow Hill and Mere junctions along Chester Road.

Vehicles must use Mereside Road and Chapel Lane to access Chester Road. Traffic marshals will be at Mere and Bucklow Hill junctions help with the diversions.