Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Highway to be closed during daylight hours for four days in May - officials say some disruption is inevitable
The A35 between Axminster and Bridport will be closed during daylight hours for four days for resurfacing in May.
Officials say disruption is inevitable but the operation is essential for maintenance and safety reasons.
Major diversions will be in place while the 10-day scheme is carried out in three stages.
The work will initially consist of carriageway preparation works to be carried out overnight – 8pm to 6am. It will be followed by surface treatment works which will see the highway closed to all traffic on four consecutive days from 8pm and 3.30pm.
Letters detailing the works and revealing the exact start date - some time in mid May - will be delivered to some 30,000 residents living alongside the route.
The first stage of the operation will involve resurfacing Bridport bypass, from Miles Cross to the Crown roundabout. The second will be the area from Penn Duals to Thistelgate House, towards Charmouth roundabout, and the third section will be from the Abbeygate turning off Axminster bypass to Trinity Hill. Fully signed diversions between Honiton and Bridport will be implemented during the closure period.
The primary diversion route will take traffic wishing to travel east along the A35 from Honiton along the A30/A303 to its junction with the A3088 at Cartgate roundabout. It will then be diverted east along the A3088 to its junction with the A37 at Yeovil. Drivers will then be routed along the A37 to its junction with the A35 at Monkey Jump roundabout, Dorchester.
Traffic heading west along the A35 from Bridport will be diverted east from the Crown roundabout, Bridport, to Monkey Jump roundabout, Dorchester and then follow the above route in reverse.
A secondary diversion route for local traffic will direct eastbound vehicles approaching Axminster towards Chard/Crewkerne and then south to Bridport or on to Dorchester. It will operate in reverse for westbound traffic.
Traffic entering the A35 on side roads within the terminal points will be directed in either direction, avoiding the hard stops.
Officials say access will be maintained for all residents within the closure but this will only be from one direction which will depend on the location of the works.
The work is being carried out by Connect who maintain the road on behalf of the Highways Agency.
Its operations manager, David Groves, said the road closures were needed to keep workers safe. He said the work had to be done in dry conditions which meant daytime working was essential, to avoid dew and moisture. The new surface would waterproof the road and improve skid resistance to increase road safety.
He added that they would take advantage of the road closure to carry out other routing maintenance works along the route including re-lining and cutting back the verges.