Construction of a new single two-lane road from the eastern roundabout at Orrell Interchange (M6 junction 26 and the terminus of the M58) to the A49 Warrington Road at Goose Green, south of Wigan. The new road will incorporate most of Leopold Street, which will be widened to create space for traffic islands and right-turn lanes, and the whole of Smithy Brook Road. The new road will operate with a 30mph limit throughout.
At its eastern end, the new road will lead directly into an adjacent section new road, the A49 Link Road, which will open in advance of this road. Together the two roads will form a continuous route from the M58 to the centre of Wigan, bypassing the existing A577. The number of the completed route is not known but it would be reasonable for it to assume the number A577 and for the existing route to be downgraded.
To allow the new road to connect to Orrell Interchange, it seems inevitable that motorway regulations will have to be revoked from the eastern roundabout and the existing link road to the A577.
This scheme is the latest incarnation of a series of proposals to build a new road on approximately this line that date back to at least 1949, beginning with Route 225 in the Road Plan for Lancashire and developing into the eastward continuation of the M58, envisaged in the 1970s. Most recently it was resurrected as the A5225 Wigan Gateway route, which was cancelled around a decade ago. Unlike its predecessors this will not be a high-capacity or high speed route and there are no firm plans to continue it east beyond Wigan towards the M61 or Bolton.
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With thanks to Gareth Hill for information on this page.