Delays expected as Expressway traffic to be diverted on to Astmoor Industrial Estate
A major Expressway route through Runcorn will close for 18 months from the early hours of Monday 30 March 2015.
Drivers using the Bridgewater, Daresbury and Central Expressways near Astmoor Industrial Estate in Runcorn are being warned to prepare for significant disruption as major work starts and diversions and lane closures come into operation.
The planned diversion route will direct eastbound traffic heading towards Daresbury that would normally use the A533 Bridgewater Expressway through the Astmoor Industrial Estate.
The diversion will run between Astmoor Junction and Haddocks Wood Junction, where it will rejoin the main carriageway. The existing junctions on the diversion route have been improved to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum.
There will be disruption in this location until the new bridge opens in 2017 whilst the new Bridgewater Junction – which will connect the Bridgewater and Daresbury Expressways to the new bridge – is constructed.
The eastbound diversion through Astmoor – heading towards Daresbury – will start in the early hours of Monday 30 March.
The westbound carriageway – heading towards the Silver Jubilee Bridge – on the A558 Daresbury Expressway will be reduced to one lane from Monday 23 March, and traffic diversions will continue to be in place in the area for at least the following 18 months.
Signage is already in place alerting drivers to the upcoming diversions and there have been ongoing discussions with local businesses in the Astmoor area to keep them informed as to the plans.
Hugh O’Connor, General Manager for Merseylink, said: “We expect this will add extra journey time to traffic travelling in all directions in this busy area and I’d like to urge everyone to drive safely and follow the reduced speed limits. I do understand that delays cause frustration and we are doing everything we can to minimise the impact.”
He added: “This is one of the largest single areas of work for the project and we have kept the Expressways open for as long as possible to maintain traffic flow, but we have now reached the stage where we have to close this part of the road to keep everyone safe.”
Cllr. Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council and Chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “We understand that delays will be likely during this period and local businesses in the area will be amongst the most affected.
“Although this will be a frustrating time, we ask that road users remain patient while this essential work takes place. Please be assured that these works are essential and Merseylink are doing all they can to minimise impact of the works while keeping the safety of road users and Project employees paramount.”
He added: “Once completed, the bridge and improved road network will bring vast benefits such as less congestion and a reduction in journey times to businesses and residents alike, and we would ask that road users keep this in mind throughout the extensive construction period.“
What is happening in the area?
The new Bridgewater Junction involves creating a new double roundabout, which will provide a link between the new bridge/Central Expressway and the Daresbury and Bridgewater Expressways when the new bridge opens.
Piling work to build the new junction will begin on 23 March at the Bridgewater site, and is expected to last for about nine months.
The work will start just north of the Bridgewater Canal and move towards Astmoor. Once the piling work is complete then cranes will move in and concreting activity will start. In total it will take about two years to build the new junction at this site.
This piling work is to provide the foundations for the construction of 24 new piers, that will support the deck of the approach road to the bridge between the Bridgewater Canal and the Manchester Ship Canal.
Whilst the diversions will be in place 24-hours a day, seven days a week, the piling work will be happening between the hours of 7am-7pm Monday to Friday and 7am-1pm on Saturday. Any work outside of these hours will need special permission from Halton Borough Council.
For more information on ongoing work, please visit: www.merseygateway.co.uk/down-your-street/
You can find out more about the project at www.merseygateway.co.uk.