Expressway route set for seven-month closure as new infrastructure is built
Update 28/10/2015 – this closure has been postoned – see http://www.merseygateway.co.uk/2015/10/central-southern-expressway-closures-planned-for-7-november-now-postponed/
A linked section of the Central and Southern Expressways in Runcorn is to be closed for around seven months from Saturday 7 November.
The closure is essential as part of the ongoing work to build and upgrade the approach roads for the new bridge at the centre of the Mersey Gateway Project.The southern section of the Central Expressway stretching from Halton Lea through to the Lodge Lane Interchange will be closed in both directions.
The northbound Southern Expressway – heading from Hallwood Junction to Lodge Lane Interchange – will also be closed at the same time.
The closures are expected to remain in place until June 2016.
It will still be possible to travel from Weston Link onto the Southern Expressway towards Hallwood Junction until early in 2016, at which point that link will be closed, and traffic will be diverted via the Halton Lea junction.
Hugh O’Connor, General Manager of Merseylink, said: “This is one of the most challenging areas for our team working along the project route. The scale of the work we are undertaking in this area, which involves raising the height of the road and completely remodelling the Lodge Lane Interchange, and installing a new footbridge, means that the best way for us to do the work is to close the road completely and enable safer and more continuous working across these key areas.”
He added: “We’d like to thank drivers and local residents for their ongoing patience and for continuing to drive safely right across our working area. There’s a lot of excitement about the new bridge and the benefits it can bring to Halton, and we’d like to thank everyone for their support while we build the road network that Halton needs to support the new bridge.”
During the closure, northbound traffic will be diverted via Hallwood Link Road, Runcorn Shopping Centre and back on to the Central Expressway via the re-opened northbound slip road from the Halton Lea roundabout.
Southbound traffic diverted off the Central Expressway will follow a similar diversion in the opposite direction.
You can also see more detail about the plans for the area on our Down Your Street section of the website.
Halton South footbridge to be closed for repairs
The Halton South footbridge which crosses the Central Expressway and connects Runcorn Shopping Centre to Halton Lodge, will be closed for three months at around the same time for essential repairs and improvements.
A signed diversion will be in place. It is scheduled to close on 16 November and re-open in February 2016.
Major works to take place
The closure will see three major phases of work completed in the area before the road is scheduled to reopen next summer. The scale, nature and complexity of the work involved, and the number of residential areas nearby make it impossible to do the work at night time or during off peak hours.
The Merseylink consortium will be submitting an application to Halton Borough Council to extend its Saturday working hours along the length of the Central Expressway and Weston Link route so the team can work from 7am to 5pm in the area if needed.
Whilst it is shut to traffic the Merseylink construction team will:
- build a remodelled Lodge Lane Interchange with new roads linking the Central Expressway with Weston Link and the Southern Expressway
- remove the ‘loop’ section of road at Lodge Lane Interchange that currently connects the Central Expressway, Weston Link and the Southern Expressway
- raise the level of the Central Expressway by an average of a metre in height and re-route utility cables underneath the road
- build a new footbridge over the realigned Central Expressway at Halton Lodge and remove the current footbridge
- refurbish and repair the Halton South footbridge
When it is finished, the work will create a new free-flowing north to south route linking the new bridge and the Central Expressway with Weston Link and on to Junction 12 of the M56.
Traffic will also still be able to travel to and from the Southern Expressway to the Central Expressway when the new road system is complete.
*Residents of Halton will still need to register to use the bridges and there will be a small charge for this.