Motorists are warned to expect lane closures and major disruption as £2.4m project to repair embankment on the A17 Sleaford bypass begins next week.
The “preventative maintenance work” will protect the bank, which carries the road over the A153 and the Sleaford to Lincoln railway line, from further slippage and deterioration over coming years, according to Lincolnshire County Council highways officials.
Coun Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, said: “The embankment itself was built in the seventies to provide a safe route for road users wishing to cross the A153 and railway line. Over the years, other parts of the embankment have been repaired but there is still some concern that there are some areas showing signs of distress. As a result, these works are necessary for maintaining the safety of those using the bypass.
“When complete next spring, these repairs and improvements will improve safety for road users; stabilise the embankment to prevent further deterioration and reduce future repair costs; and ensure that rainwater is properly channelled away from the bank to where it should be discharged.”
The embankment repair project will cost £2.4m and is being funded using part of the £5.4m allocated to the authority by the Department of Transport (DfT) from its National Productivity Investment Fund. The money was awarded to the county council to help reduce congestion at key locations, upgrade or improve the maintenance of local highway assets, improve access to employment and housing, and develop economic and job creation opportunities.
Workmen will move in on Monday with preliminary off-highway work starting this week, says the authority.
British construction firm, Eurovia Contracting North, will be carrying out the repairs, which include large scale drainage improvements and measures introduced to stabilise the remainder of the bank, programmed to be complete by the end of April 2018.
This will involve lane closures in both directions of the A17 Sleaford bypass from Monday November 27 to Monday December 4.
Then, from Monday December 4, the westbound lanes along this section of A17 will be closed for six weeks, subject to reasonable weather. During this time, westbound traffic will be diverted to a lane on the eastbound carriageway.
Following the westbound repair works, the eastbound section of carriageway will be closed for six weeks, with eastbound traffic moved to a lane on the westbound carriageway.
Following the eastbound closure, single lane closures on both directions of the A17 will be put back in place for the remainder of the works.
As part of the works, two-way traffic will be maintained at all times, but in one lane rather than two in each direction. As a result of this and the single lane closures, a speed restriction of 30mph will be enforced throughout the life of the project.
Coun Davies said: “We apologise for any inconvenience these works cause. However, due to the nature of the repairs, there will inevitably be delays and longer journey times. As a result, we are encouraging people to use an alternative route once works have started.”