Costain has been given the go-ahead to start work on the A556 upgrade in Cheshire – more than three and a half years after winning the job.
The early contractor involvement (ECI) scheme is worth upto £212M.
The work involves upgrading the road to dual carriageway between the M56 and M6.
Costain was awarded the contract in January 2011.
It has now been given planning consent, which means work will begin on site in later 2014 or early 2015. Construction is expected to take two years.
The project includes construction of a new section of highway, and improvements to the existing A556 trunk road in Cheshire between M6 Junction 19, near Knutsford, and M56 Junction 7 near Bowdon. Costain will also deliver improvements to the M6 southbound carriageway between M6 Junction 19 and Knutsford Services.
The decision follows an examination process by the Planning Inspectorate. The application was submitted by the Highways Agency for consideration in April 2013, and a recommendation was made to the secretary of state for transport on 2 June 2014.
The Planning Inspectorate’s chief executive, Simon Ridley, said: “The Planning Inspectorate has the responsibility to examine Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) within timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008. This provides developers and investors with the confidence to build and improve the infrastructure this country needs to secure future economic growth.
“A major priority for us over the course of the examination was to ensure that communities who might be affected by this proposal had the opportunity to put forward their views. As always, the examining authority gave careful consideration to these before reaching its conclusion.”