|Work proceeds apace on the M6 Link near Halton Army Camp. Photo: Leslie Graham|
Trees and other greenery have been removed from large swathes of land near Halton Army Camp in preparation for construction on the new bride and work on Halton Road. Trees have also been felled near Lancaster and Morecambe College, along part of Barley Cop Lane.
The council says clearance work for the £120 million-plus road-building project has been timed to take place outside bird-nesting season since any delay into Spring would have brought a further delay to the project due to nesting season.
Steve McCreesh, project manager for Lancashire County Council, said: "We have removed the minimum number of trees needed for the road to be built, and all of those which have been removed are within the footprint of the construction works.
"The area of clearance around the river appears intrusive because the new bridge is nearly 34 metres wide, which is wider than the existing motorway bridge,' he told virtual-lancaster, "and there's a need for extra land for working space around such a significant structure. The working space will be replanted once the bridge is open to a standard that will significantly increase the biodiversity of this area.
"For every tree we remove during construction of the link road, 13 new trees will be planted – altogether we're removing 11,000 square metres of woodland and planting 150,000 square metres.
Speaking over concerns that the removal of trees might have an impact on the hydrology and stability of the slopes, which could lead to landslides after heavy rain, Mr McCreesh was keen to allay any fears of this.
"Some areas need to be excavated for the road whilst other areas will require building up with the construction of embankments to support the road," he explained. "The angle of all the slopes have been the subject of engineering calculations to ensure that they will all be stable and will not be subject to landslip."