‘Ditton Flyover’ in Widnes will close on the evening of Easter Monday
The closure date for ‘Ditton Flyover’ has been confirmed as 7.30pm on the evening of Easter Monday (28 March 2016).
The section of the A533 Queensway in Widnes (known locally as the Ditton Flyover), which links Speke Road to the Silver Jubilee Bridge, will be permanently closed.
Motorists travelling through Widnes are being warned to expect delays as a result of the closure, which is needed to build the link roads through Widnes to connect the main road network to the new Mersey Gateway bridge, which will open in autumn 2017.
This work has been held back to the latest possible point in the construction programme to minimise its likely impact. There are a significant number of utilities – such as gas and wastewater pipes – that need to be diverted around the junction, and these can’t be moved until the existing road layouts are removed and space created for the new ones.
In line with sustainable construction best practice, the project team is using 100% of the material from the existing road excavations to form the embankments needed for the new roads, avoiding the need to send material to landfill.
Hugh O’Connor, General Manager for Merseylink, commented that “This is essential work for the Mersey Gateway project in the Ditton area and is another important step towards the completion of this vital bridge and roads project. Our construction teams, Halton Borough Council and the police are working closely together to let local people and commuters know about the closure.
He added: “Decisions to close roads are not taken lightly, and we do understand that this closure is going to disrupt motorists’ journeys. I’d advise anyone who uses this route to allow extra time for their journey, check our diversion map so they know the alternative route, and visit the Down Your Street website for updates on ongoing and planned work.”
The work means traffic travelling along the A533 Queensway in both directions between Speke Road and the Silver Jubilee Bridge will be diverted off the current main route and directed via Ditton Roundabout until the new bridge opens in autumn 2017.
There will be traffic lights in place at Ditton Roundabout to ensure that vehicles are able to join it from side roads like Ditton Road West.
The road surface on Ditton Roundabout is also being improved ahead of the diversion, which will mean weekend closures of sections of the roundabout with diversions in place.
Traffic will still be able to access the Silver Jubilee Bridge at all times throughout the work but delays and disruption are expected in the area, particularly at peak times.
Lower House Lane will re-open on Easter Monday just before the Ditton Flyover is closed.
A section of Ashley Way will however close for several months to complete the new four way signalised junction planned to replace the existing Ditton and Moor Lane roundabouts.
Demolition of the two bridges over Ditton Roundabout will take place in April.
When the new bridge is open, traffic will be able to travel uninterrupted between Speke Road and the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on a dual carriageway. The freeflow tolling system that will be used on the new bridge will mean traffic will be able to travel through the area at an estimated average speed of 40mph.
Once the new bridge is open the Silver Jubilee Bridge will be remodelled as a local bridge that will have vastly improved pedestrian and cycle links, but will retain one lane of traffic in each direction.