Major Ditton roadworks scheduled for April with focus on work at weekends and at night-time to minimise disruption
Dates for major infrastructure works on one of the main approaches to the new Mersey Gateway Bridge have been confirmed.
Essential road closures around Ditton Junction in Widnes have been scheduled for this month, with the majority of work taking place at weekends and overnight to minimise disruption.
Work will start on 10 April and last for around three weeks, but the closures will not be in place each and every night, and there will be no work taking place over the Easter weekend itself.
When they are closed, the on and off slip roads from Speke Road to Ditton Road will be closed from 7.30pm at night to 5am each day and completely from 9.30pm on Friday nights to 6am on Monday mornings. Only one of the slip roads will be closed at a time to minimise the impact on traffic.
Ditton Road West will be opened up to two-way traffic for the duration of these works to minimise congestion in the area and improve access for local businesses operating in and around the 3MG site and the wider Ditton Road area.
The southbound diversion (see map below), for traffic heading towards Widnes and Runcorn, will run along Everite Road and Marshgate before joining Hale Road and then Ditton Road.
The northbound diversion (see map below) will see traffic coming from the Silver Jubilee Bridge diverted along Ditton Road to re-join Speke Road further west.
There is significant ongoing work already taking place in the area, and the total closures are required for piling works, gantry installation and trench crossings to lay utility cables across Speke Road.
From around mid-May Ditton Road will return to being a westbound only route while work continues in the area to reconfigure the connecting routes around Ditton Junction.
When work is complete in this area and the new bridge opens later in the year, Speke Road will be linked directly to the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and traffic will be able to travel uninterrupted across the River Mersey.
Hugh O’Connor, General Manager of the Merseylink Consortium, said: “Anyone who drives along this route will be very familiar with the diversions we are using and will know that there is some disruption to traffic while we build the link road to the new bridge. We’re working hard to minimise the closure periods and schedule the works outside of busy times, so we’d just ask everyone using the route to drive carefully and safely through the area.”
Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “I’m pleased that these works are being scheduled for times when there will be less traffic on the roads so fewer people will be inconvenienced by any delays. The new route will mean quicker, easier and more reliable journeys over the river in Halton and we are all looking forward to the new bridge opening later this year.”
Drivers can keep up to date with traffic management issues around Widnes and Runcorn by watching for new alerts on road signage and social media, or by visiting the Down Your Street section on the Mersey Gateway website.
The economic, transport and social benefits the project will bring to the region include:
- 470 permanent full-time equivalent jobs on site during construction
- 4,640 permanent direct and indirect jobs
- £61.9 million a year in Gross Value Added from the new jobs by 2030.
When it opens in 2017, both the new bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge will be tolled, but they will be free* to Halton residents. More detailed plans about the tolling arrangements have recently been released and can be found at www.merseyflow.co.uk.