Posted on Thursday 13th September 2018
As preliminary works continue on the A338/Blackwater Junction, Dorset County Council and Bournemouth Borough Council met on Tuesday 11 September to discuss the impact the improvement works are having on residents and businesses.
The scheme has been designed to improve traffic merging around the Blackwater junction, and increase traffic capacity south of Backwater towards Cooper Dean to cope with ever increasing vehicle numbers.
These improvements form part of the £45.2m investment in Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme, aimed at facilitating better access into and around Bournemouth Airport, unlocking employment land and stimulating economic growth
Since 3 September 2018, the southbound carriageway has been reduced to one lane from north of the Blackwater Junction towards the Cooper Dean Roundabout as the £5m improvement scheme got underway with a view to:
- creating an extra southbound lane on the section of the A338 between Blackwater Junction towards Cooper Dean roundabout
- improving the southbound ‘on slip’ to the A338 from the B3073 at Blackwater East Junction
- improving the northbound ‘off slip’ to the B3073 from the A338 at Blackwater West Junction
- carrying out B3073 bridge protection works and widening the carriageway over the River Stour bridge including new parapets and safety fences
Cllr Mike Greene, Bournemouth Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Cleansing and Waste, said: “Although these works are being carried out by Dorset County Council, we have received extensive feedback from residents and businesses about their frustration with the works and we are sorry for the disruption being caused to people’s lives.
“We want to make sure that this feedback is taken on board. The meeting with Dorset County Council was to ensure they had fully considered and assessed all the traffic management options to see if everything is being done to ease congestion on the A338 and alternative routes around the conurbation. We are satisfied that this has happened and will continually monitor the works throughout the nine-month period.”
This Friday, 14 September, the A338 between Blackwater and Cooper Dean the lane closure will be removed overnight, with two lanes back in action by 6am Saturday morning.
For two weeks this section of road will be mostly free from traffic management with preparation work continuing away from the flow of traffic. There will be some off-peak daytime lane closures for material deliveries and associated work.
On Sunday 30 September, three nights of northbound and southbound road closures are planned for temporary steel barriers to be installed to create a safe working area and for essential maintenance along the A338 to be carried out.
The road will be closed between the A31 at Ashley Heath and the Cooper Dean roundabout from 10pm to 6am the following morning on Sunday and Tuesday. On Monday 1 October the closures will start later to allow football supporters to travel to and from the match.
When the steel barriers are in place the southbound carriageway will be reduced to one lane again, with lane 2 closed, and the northbound carriageway will run two narrowed lanes. Both carriageways will have a 40mph speed limit in force for driver safety as existing barriers will have been removed.
Daytime work will involve bridge works to join together the two bridges that carry the road over the River Stour, and make extensive repairs to these bridges. Night time work will mainly be earthworks to widen the southbound carriageway into the central reservation.
Cllr Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council Cabinet member for the natural and built environment said: “Due to the extremely busy nature of this road – with around 6,000 travelling vehicles an hour during peak times – it is unavoidable that when lane closures are in place, traffic queues will occur.
“Due to the width of the road, and the work being undertaken, we have very few options of how to carry out the work. We will be doing what we can at night, and we will continually review traffic management to minimise disruption.
“Drivers should try to plan ahead, allowing extra time for journeys or finding alternative routes.”
There will be free recovery for breakdowns within the works area from 30 September. Average speed cameras will also be in operation.
The Blackwater Junction improvement works on the A338 are scheduled to last until June 2019. Road users are advised to sign up to the A338 travel blog to stay up to date with road news or check Travel Dorset on twitter for updates.
For more information visit www.A338.info