New plans to ease congestion on a major commuter route in Staffordshire have been announced.
Work on the A521 near Blythe Bridge, which starts today (Monday, October 7) will see one lane kept open where possible – instead of a full 10-week closure of the dual carriageway, followed by additional traffic management.
The changes do mean that the scheme may now run for around 19 or 20 weeks, including some additional traffic management in the New Year.
Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “We understand the local concerns about the impact a full closure would have on Blythe Bridge and the surrounding areas.
“Our staff have been working closely with St Modwen and its highways contractors to see if any construction changes could be made so the A521 could be kept partially open, without compromising public safety.
“After a lot of hard work scrutinising the designs, I am pleased to say that engineers have managed to come up with a proposal which will keep the A521 partially open much as possible.
“Although this does mean the scheme will take longer to complete, we think this is a sensible compromise.”
The St Modwen scheme will see more than 100 new homes built and work will involve constructing the site entrance, change the existing road lay out and install utilities. A new pedestrian crossing will also be included, along with new pavements to link to the village.
The work over the coming week will involve the section of the A521 from the junction of the A50 roundabout to its junction with the A521 Uttoxeter Road
The work will be carried out in three phases:
Phase 1 - the complete closure of one side of the carriageway and one lane on the other side of the carriageway for a period of eight weeks. One lane will be open westbound i.e. towards the A50 during this period
Phase 2 – the complete closure of the opposite side of the carriageway for seven weeks with two lanes open eastbound i.e. traffic leaving the A50
Phase 3 – four weeks with 3-way traffic signals and lane closures
At times, a full closure of the A521 in both directions will still be needed to carry out certain works. Signed diversions will be in place.
Philip added: “This is a major scheme on an important alterative diversion route via the A521 and A522 when there is an incident on the A50.
“We will be monitoring traffic management by the contractors over the coming weeks, but as the traffic flow will change during the scheme, we would ask people to take extra care, follow signed instructions and allow extra time for their journeys.”