Major highways scheme enters final phase

One of Liverpool’s key highways schemes, which was delayed due to the collapse of a contractor, is about to enter its final phase.

County Road, which forms part of the historic A59, is a major gateway into the city centre from the north of Liverpool, passing Everton FC’s Goodison Park, before linking up to Aintree Racecourse and on to the motorway system.

The road, situated in the heart of Walton, was undergoing a £5.9m revamp until the original contractor – Viam, formerly Kings Construction, went into administration last summer just months before completing the scheme.

After a tendering process, Liverpool City Council appointed a new contractor, Huyton Asphalt, in late October to finish the scheme as well as the resurfacing of nearby Walton Lane.

After the city’s annual Christmas embargo on roadworks Huyton Asphalt undertook a comprehensive check of works to date, at which an issue on the varying depths of the road required an urgent design review and further delayed the restart.

To reduce delays for road users, contractors were asked to restart works on Walton Lane, which takes traffic to Queens Drive, two weeks ago.

The council’s Highways and Transportation team have now concluded the urgent design review of County Road, with roadworks set to begin on Monday, 28 February.

A phased programme of works – running from Spellow Lane to Hale Road junctions – will require lane closures during the day and a full road closure from 7pm each night until 6am, on a Monday to Friday basis.

The resurfacing on Walton Lane will now be suspended, to allow for the works on County Road which are scheduled to be completed by the end of April.

Once the County Road works have finished, contractors will be redeployed back to Walton Lane with that scheme expected to end by the start of June.

A 20mph speed limit will be in force on both County Road and Walton Lane until the schemes complete.

The County Road scheme, which included three upgraded crossings, a new toucan crossing and two new pedestrian crossings, bus priority at two major junctions and 2km of road resurfacing.is a key element of a wider programme to upgrade the city’s highways network over the coming decade.

It has received £3.5m from the Local Growth Fund (LGF) via the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).

Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through its Strategic Investment Fund.

Councillor Dan Barrington, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “County Road has been beset with a number of deeply unfortunate setbacks which has caused huge upset, which we can only apologise for.

“The council has moved as swiftly as possible to address each setback however, we appreciate that when a major road like County has already experienced more than two years of disruption, patience is understandably in short supply.

“I’m pleased that the urgent design review and new programme of works has been completed as quickly as possible, as it means we can revert back to County Road which is everyone’s priority given the condition its in and the crucial role it plays on our network.

“It’s worth stressing that it was right to mobilise on Walton Lane a fortnight ago, whilst this review was being done, as it meant the contractor was not standing idle, which would have been a waste of tax payers’ money.

“Walton Lane will now be the main diversion until County Road is completed, and given we have now done a fortnight’s work there it’s in a better condition to take traffic and we won’t have as much left to do to finish it.

“Of course, these timings can be affected by the weather and as we all witnessed last week mother nature can play havoc with these kind of plans. Hopefully we get a smooth run and there’s no more setbacks.”

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