New crossings open as Kent Elms junction works progress
Southend Borough Council Press Release
Two new pedestrian crossings near the A127 Kent Elms junction have opened as part of a major junction upgrade.
The new crossings came into place this week as resurfacing works on the Southend-bound carriageway and Rayleigh Road reached completion. The completion of resurfacing means that 85% of the total highways works in the Kent Elms project are now finished. The remaining 15%, which includes the completion of the delayed utilities works and the resumption of highways works on the London-bound carriageway – will carry on through to the autumn, though the timing of works will be carefully scheduled to reduce disruption to traffic leaving the town.
The Council made a commitment to replace the existing footbridge and is on track to fulfil this. The procurement of the new footbridge is reaching the final stages. Once the formal contract with the supplier has been awarded, the design options will be shared with the local community and a work schedule finalised, which should see the bridge constructed by the winter. We anticipate that the bridge will be built offsite in components and then assembled under a series of overnight road closures. This is similar to how we successfully removed the previous footbridge, which minimised disruption to road users.
Cllr Tony Cox, Executive Councillor for Transport, Waste and Regulatory Services, said: “The opening of these new crossings and the completion of the north side of the junction is positive news in what has admittedly been a challenging project. “The new crossings will make life easier for residents who live on the East side of the A127, by providing a safe and more convenient alternative to cross this extremely busy road.
“I have personally witnessed pedestrians, sometimes with prams or walking sticks, crossing four lanes of busy traffic at this side of the junction to avoid the long walk to the crossing by the Kent Elms. This is clearly unsafe and the new crossings will play an important role in alleviating this issue. “I am also pleased that work is now nearing completion on the north side of the junction and my priority now as portfolio holder will be to ensure that the remainder of the highways works are delivered as swiftly as possible and with as little disruption as possible to road users, residents and local businesses alike.”
School summer holidays
There will be three lanes completed in the Southend-bound direction and at least two lanes will be kept open to traffic at all times. In consideration for the holiday period, London-bound closures will be kept to a minimum. We aim to carry out necessary works on this carriageway between 9.30am and 3.30pm on weekdays, though some overnight lane closures may also be necessary. There will also be a need for traffic management in the side roads due to utility connections. This will be carried out in the summer holidays, when traffic flows are lighter on the side roads, and will not interfere with the main A127 traffic.