Lane closures at A127 The Bell junction
There will be a series of lane closures on the Bell Junction of the A127 during August and early September in order to carry out urgent patch resurfacing and investigate the location of underground gas pipes.
Highways workers will resurface part of the road overnight between 2100hrs on 14 August and 0600hrs on 15 August in order to address a rutted and uneven surface thought to be causing noise and safety issues.
In order to carry this work out safely, the following closures will be necessary:
· Closure of A127 Prince Avenue westbound from its junction with Cuckoo Corner to 152 Prince Avenue.
· Closure of the right hand turn lane from A127 into Hobleythick Lane.
· Closure of the right turn lane from Rochford Road onto A127 westbound lane.
· Closure of Hobleythick Lane from A127 The Bell junction to the junction with Midhurst Avenue.
Then from Tuesday 27 August until Monday 2 September, workers from gas company, Cadent / Triio, will be digging trenches in the central reserve of the A127 at The Bell in Prittlewell in order to investigate the location of their pipes beneath the road. This work will require lane closures for approximately seven days along the London-bound carriageway. Importantly, it will help inform how the gas pipes can be relocated in future to allow the junction to be upgraded.
Cllr Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, capital and inward investment, said: “Over a number of years we have successfully fought for and won external funding to carry out important improvements to pinch-point junctions across our growing town.
“These inevitably cause disruption and I am not going to shy away from alerting local residents and commuters to the prospect of increasing activity at The Bell junction over the coming months, as we finalise plans to upgrade this important junction and get traffic flowing better in the future.
“We will shortly be inviting contractors to bid to carry out the work at The Bell and our proposed designs for the new junction are progressing well. However, whatever the final design, we are a highly urbanised area and so it will be necessary to move a large number of underground pipes and cables away from the highway and this will inevitably cause some disruption.
With the Kent Elms works now complete, it is important to stress that lessons have been learnt from that project, and that is why we have been carrying out preparatory work, and why Cadent will be investigating the locations of their pipes before major work starts.
“I am currently having discussions with our highways teams as to how we time street works on the A127 and weighing up the pros and cons of short, sharp bursts of activity that get the job done quicker versus longer periods of off-peak-only activity which will draw out the disruption to residents and motorists alike.
“At the same time, I fully recognise that upgrading junctions alone is not a long-term solution. We are a growing town, with a growing airport and a major business park under construction near Southend Airport. We need fit-for-future infrastructure and I will continue to work with other South Essex authorities to make a compelling business case for major investment in a new road serving our town.”
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