South Gloucestershire Council has announced plans to close the inside lane of the A38 southbound approach to the Aztec West Roundabout for four days later this week, in order to carry out a “significant” gas main diversion.
The move breaks an assurance given by the council prior to the commencement of the project that major carriageway work would not be carried out on the A38 until “after the Bradley Stoke Way section of the MetroBus works has been completed”.
The work on the A38 is being funded as part of an £18.1 million Growth Deal award made to the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and is intended to “mitigate the impact of traffic arising from new developments”, such as the Cribbs/Patchway New Neighbourhood where 5,700 new homes are expected to be constructed by 2027.
The upcoming carriageway work, which is being carried out jointly with Wales & West Utilities, will commence on the morning of Thursday 12th January, when a lane closure will be placed on the A38 southbound. This will reduce the number of traffic lanes from four down to three. The lane closure will then stay in place throughout the whole of the following Friday, Saturday and Sunday while the gas diversion is being completed. It is anticipated that the diversion will be finished in time for reopening the lane for the morning peak of Monday 16th January.
A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said:
“The work has been planned for January in order to have the least impact on traffic, although motorists are advised to allow additional journey time to mitigate for any delays.”
Commenting on the overlap with the ongoing MetroBus works on Bradley Stoke Way, the spokesperson added:
“The current major construction work taking place on the A38 southbound is advanced utility work and this has been planned and booked many months in advance. Unfortunately, delays in the MetroBus project will see an overlap of work. However this has been mitigated as much as possible by removing the central reserve, creating an additional lane, and 24-hour working over a four day period. Cancelling the work was not possible without causing major impacts on budgets and the timing of the overall construction programme.”
The spokesperson gave an assurance that “no more major daytime carriageway lane closures are anticipated on the A38 during the current MetroBus programme other than the gas main diversion planned for January”. Further lane closures will be needed on the A38, but these will be carried out once the MetroBus work in north Bradley Stoke has been completed (which is now estimated to be 17th March 2017; see page 19).
Work on the A38 project started in May 2016 and is expected to be completed in autumn 2017.
For more details of the scheme, and progress reports, visit: Aztec West Roundabout A38 Southbound Widening Scheme 2016-17
Photo: Work under way at the junction of the southbound A38 and Bradley Stoke Way, on the north-east arm of the roundabout.
This article is an updated version of one that originally appeared in the January 2017 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 29). To avoid confusion, it has been amended to reflect the fact that SGC will now start the work on the morning of 12th January, rather than in the evening (see official update statement below).
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Update issued by SGC on 10th January 2017
During our preparation works for the gas main diversion, we discovered a number of additional redundant gas mains present that need to be dealt with.
In addition, the weather forecast is currently predicting sub-zero temperatures and possible adverse weather conditions during the planned work.
Our engineers have started work on the additional gas mains in advance, however to ensure that the scheduled work is completed on time they will need to work an extra shift.
The additional work shift will be carried out on Thursday (12th January) daytime to reduce the possibility of the work running over to Monday morning. Our engineers will be working on the site for 24 hours per day between 12th and 16th January.
We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.
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