MetroBus: Woodlands Lane junction set to be fully reopened by Christmas

… but before that, motorists will have to put up with a new ten-week lane closure on Bradley Stoke Way.

New TEN-WEEK lane closure set to start at Aztec West in mid-October.

MetroBus contractors Alun Griffiths say they are still hopeful of fully reopening the Bradley Stoke Way (BSW) / Woodlands Lane junction by Christmas, despite a series of delays caused by the discovery of further uncharted underground utilities.

As reported in our August magazine, an uncharted live gas main was discovered in the verge of BSW where a new ‘left filter’ bus lane is due to be constructed. This new lane will allow buses to shortcut the Aztec West Roundabout when joining the southbound A38 from BSW.

Wales & West Utilities (W&WU) moved onto the site on Thursday 21st September and are expected to have completed their work to divert the gas main by Friday 14th October, after which Griffiths will be able resume construction of the new filter lane. This was originally expected take a further 12 weeks, but the firm says it is hopeful of compressing this down to ten weeks, meaning that it can be completed by Christmas.

The bad news for road users is that Griffiths will need to close the nearside lane of BSW on the approach to the Aztec West Roundabout for the whole of the anticipated ten-week period starting Monday 17th October, reducing the number of lanes entering the roundabout from three to two. This can be expected to have massive repercussions for traffic throughout Bradley Stoke during the morning peaks, if the experience of a two-day closure of the same lane back in May is anything to go by. On that occasion, readers reported traffic queues that extended for the whole length of Trench Lane, right back to its junction with Old Gloucester Road (nearly 2.5 miles from Aztec West).

The reopening of the ‘right turn out’ of Woodlands Lane, which is dependent on the BSW verge works (because of the need to synchronise traffic signals with those on the Aztec West Roundabout), is expected to be achieved within the same time frame, although final resurfacing of this area may need to be completed after Christmas.

The westbound footway on Bradley Stoke Way, between Patchway Brook Roundabout and a point opposite the Woodlands Lane junction, has been closed since Monday 19th September, to allow Griffiths to rebuild the footpath (to a lower level) from opposite and to the east of Orchard Gate to the Aztec West Roundabout. The pedestrian diversion route goes via Brook Way, Stanshaws Close and Oaktree Crescent. It is anticipated that this work will take up to ten weeks to complete.

The Journal understands that an alteration to the advertised diversion may soon be required because W&WU will also need to work in the area opposite the Woodlands Lane junction, where the shared footway/cycle path from Oaktree Crescent emerges onto BSW. It is likely that pedestrians will then be advised to use the footway on the north side of BSW, which has now been fully reopened.

Occasional night-time closures of BSW for final resurfacing, originally scheduled to start as early as mid-September, have now been rescheduled for December. The mismatched road levels in the vicinity of the Orchard Gate junction will be resolved as part of this work.

New southbound lane constructed on Bradley Stoke Way as part of the MetroBus project.

Further down BSW, between Patchway Brook Roundabout and the Willow Brook Centre, work has progressed well, with surfacing of the new traffic lane being completed by the end of September (see photo above). Some further work remains to be completed in the verge on the nature reserve side of BSW before Griffiths switch their focus to the opposite side of the carriageway in mid-October. At this time, the two traffic lanes will be shifted over, with southbound traffic running on the newly constructed lane. This will allow drainage works to be carried out beneath the former northbound lane, which, on completion, will become a bus lane. Final resurfacing of this section of BSW is also scheduled to be carried out during December, without the need for any road closures.

Construction of a new southbound MetroBus bus stop near Great Meadow Roundabout is expected to be completed soon, following which work will start on the northbound stop on the other side of the roundabout. Off-peak traffic control will continue to be used as and when required. Further work will be required in this area in order to connect an electrical supply to each of the bus stops. This will involve excavating trenches of up to 200m in length to reach metered supply points in Baileys Court Road (for the southbound stop) and Ellan Hay Road (for the northbound stop).

Stoke Gifford Transport Link (SGTL, a.k.a. ‘By-Pass’)

Griffiths expect to be able to take possession of the new railway bridge (being constructed by AMCO on behalf of Network Rail) in early October. Heavy plant will then commence moving material from the temporary noise attenuation bund alongside the Kings Drive development, in order to achieve the required carriageway profile between Parkway North Roundabout and the railway bridge.

Earthworks will also be required at the second new bridge over Ham Brook, although possession of this bridge is not expected to be acquired until after Christmas.

Most of the current work on the SGTL is contained within the site and involves second and third stage earthworks. All lighting columns have now been installed, except around the two bridges and at Parkway North. Trenching for lighting and HV cables will take place from the end of October.

Note: Projected dates in this report are estimates supplied by Griffiths, who emphasise that they are subject to change should unforeseen issues arise.

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This article originally appeared in the October 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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