|The new road to Wigan Pier
The first major road to be built in Wigan Borough in decades will be officially opened on Monday (18th March).
The new section of the A49, now known as Southgate, runs between Wallgate and Saddle Junction and is designed to relieve congestion at one of the borough’s most notorious bottlenecks.
Traffic jams at the Asda roundabout have frustrated drivers for years but the new relief road will cut journey times for thousands of commuters heading into and out of the town centre. It means traffic can flow freely around Wigan Pier and under the historic Adam Viaduct.
The first part of the multi-million pound project was completed last year with the route out of the town centre opening in November. The new route into town opened to two lane traffic for the first time on Friday (March 15th).
The improvement programme has also seen flood prevention work taking place to protect homes on nearby Eleanor Street. Construction of the road has also opened up land for development, which it’s hoped will attract jobs and investment.
Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council, said: “This has been a major undertaking for Wigan Council. It demonstrates that despite the tough financial constraints we face, thanks to careful planning and money management, the council can still deliver big projects that improve the lives of residents and benefit the local economy.
“It’s difficult to overstate the significance of this new road. It will make driving around Wigan town centre infinitely easier, cutting journey times and alleviating traffic jams. I know the construction work has caused some disruption for drivers and I’d like to thank them for their patience. Indeed, many drivers have already told us they’ve noticed a big difference since the first phase was opened last year.
“Construction of the road has opened up new land for development, presenting us with a unique opportunity to attract jobs and investment to that part of the borough and we’ll be working really hard to ensure we make the most of it. We’re also optimistic the improved infrastructure and traffic conditions will attract more investment into the town centre too.”