Whittlesey prepares for two week closure of A605 Peterborough Road - and disruption for eight weeks after that
- Credit: Archant
Motorists are being warned that the A605 from Whittlesey to Peterborough road is to close for two weeks from April 2.
And in the following eight weeks there is expected to be traffic-signal controlled two-way traffic after the closure.
The closures are needed to allow deep workings for the sewer connect to the new Lindum Homes
Whittlesey county councillor Chris Boden has delivered over 3,000 leaflets to residents of his division explaining the closures.
'Every effort has been made to reduce the inevitable traffic problems which this closure will cause, including timing the closure to include the Easter Break, thus minimising the number of working days this closure will affect,' he said.
The closure will allow 'utilities to be worked on and, if necessary, diverted both for the Lindum Homes development and for the King's Dyke Bridge.
'Those eight weeks of traffic light controls may be spread out over three or four months.'
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Cllr Boden said that if there is any closure of North Bank because of flooding, contractors are aware [and county highways will ensure] that traffic restrictions on the A605 will be lifted as quickly as possible.
The road works will start on the A605 between Beech Gate and the other side of the level crossing.
'These road works are unavoidable, but they will cause a large amount of inconvenience for people travelling between Whittlesey and Peterborough,' said Cllr Boden.
He said both he and his fellow Whittlesey county councillor David Connor and been working hard with council officers to minimise the disruption.
Cllr Boden also explained that there would be 'unavoidable delays' on the A605 because of the Kings Dyke Bridge construction.
At this preliminary stage, he said, those delays will be caused by service utilities (such as gas, electricity, BT, virgin, water) having to access services under or near the A605 to move those services so that the road tie-ins with the new bridge will be able to be constructed.
It would mean contractors such as Triio, Cadent, UK Power Networks, OpenReach and Virgin may each need to re-route some of their underground networks on or immediately adjacent to the A605.
So far as new Lindum housing development is concerned 'they will need to carry out what are called 'bellmouth works' to connect the new estate with the A605, but there will also be works needed on the mains sewer there, which runs down the centre of the A605'. Cllr Boden said these sewer works will involve deep excavations down the middle of Peterborough Road and there is no safe way for these works to be completed without a full closure of the A605 'there's just not enough space available for even single line traffic working'.
All alternative routes will be open during any traffic restrictions on the A605. The roadworks at Milk and Water Drove will be fully completed before any of these restrictions begin on the A605, freeing up the Pondersbridge to Horsey Toll Road as a secondary diversionary route.
'But the primary diversionary route is always going to be the B1040 across Whittlesey Washes and either North Bank or the A47 via Thorney,' said Cllr Boden.
He said that highways officers were aware that it would be impractical to have the A605 closed or restricted if flooding closes North Bank or the B1040.
Cllr Boden said that if necessary, the 4.2 metres deep trench along Peterborough Road will if possible be temporarily filled in mid-works to re-open the A605 as an emergency measure to cope with any flood-related closures elsewhere.
'Obviously, we hope that won't be necessary as that will only prolong the period of disruptive roadworks along Peterborough Road, but if there is any flood-related closure of North Bank, or elsewhere, the A605 will be re-opened as quickly as it can be,' he said.
Currently it's expected that the main roadworks, involving the full road closure of the A605, will take up to two weeks next month, followed by up to eight weeks of two-way traffic light controls.
But he said that co-ordinating roadworks with this many different utility companies is difficult, so precise dates are not yet certain.
Information on the closures will be updated regularly on the Whittlesey town council website.