Major highways scheme enters final week

One of Liverpool’s key highways schemes, which was delayed due to the collapse of a contractor, is to complete this week.

County Road, 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.

After a tendering process, Liverpool City Council appointed a new contractor, Huyton Asphalt, in late October to finish the scheme, which included three upgraded crossings, a new toucan crossing and two new pedestrian crossings.

Following the city’s annual Christmas embargo and a design review, works resumed at the end of February and, with just resurfacing of some side roads and road markings to do, the scheme is set to complete on Friday (29 April).

The completion comes just weeks after the council’s Highways and Transportation team set out a new evidence-based approach using a mix of AI and photography to devise a multi-million pound programme that will improve more than 100 roads across the city over the next 12 months.

The £34.6m highways improvement programme identified the roads in the worst condition. Following approval by Cabinet, the council will soon be issuing tenders for the schemes, many of which will involve road resurfacing works.

As soon as the County Road works finish, with night-time closures scheduled tomorrow and Thursday, contractors will move on to resurfacing nearby Walton Lane.

That scheme, which will operate under a 20mph limit for motorists, will begin on Tuesday, 3 May. Works there are expected to complete by the start of June and will require a number of full night-time road closures.

The County Road scheme, which has also seen bus priority introduced at two major junctions as well as 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.

“I’m pleased that the new programme of works will be completed to schedule as it plays a crucial role on our network.

“Walton Lane will soon be the new focus when County Road is completed and hopefully with settled weather, the contractor will get a smooth run and there’s no more setbacks.

“I want to thank everyone for their patience over the past 12 months, it’s been a challenging experience for everyone and we’ve learn some valuable lessons that is shaping what we do in the future.

“Roadworks by their very nature cause delays and headaches but we’ve invested in new technology to ensure our new highways improvement programme causes the minimum amount of disruption.”

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