Sandy Park Junction upgrade to get underway
Posted on: 27 September 2016
Work on improvements to the A379 Sandy Park Junction in Exeter will get underway on Monday (3 October).
The existing junction, which is currently used to access Sandy Park rugby ground and David Lloyd leisure centre, has a ‘left-in, left-out’ traffic system.
The £2.5 million upgrade will create a signalised junction which will allow all traffic movements – including right turns in and out of the site in order to improve access to planned employment and housing development in the Newcourt area of the city.
The scheme will stop the need for traffic effectively making a U-turn at the existing Russell Way junction by looping around on the A379, as well as improving traffic flow on Old Rydon Lane and Junction 30 of the M5. It will improve accessibility to the rugby club, conference facility, and leisure centre.
The scheme is expected to take six months to complete, during which time the A379 will be reduced to one lane in each direction. However, following an analysis of traffic flows, to minimise the impact on traffic, two lanes will be maintained on the A379 inbound (westbound) between 7.30am and 9.30am, Monday to Friday, and two lanes will be maintained outbound (eastbound) from 4pm to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Every effort is being taken to minimise disruption due to work on Exeter’s highway network, and elsewhere, while at the same time allowing new building and essential maintenance work to be completed in support of economic and housing growth. The County Council co-ordinates work on the highway with utility companies and others. It also monitors the network using CCTV so it can adjust signal timings and alert the public to the impact of work on the travelling public. However, recent emergencies in Exeter such as the damaged high voltage cable at Honiton Road and gas leak at Hill Barton Road, have caused problems with congestion in the city as the companies responsible have exercised their right to carry out essential safety related repair work at short notice.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “As external funding becomes available, we have to make the most of the opportunities that arise so that we can maximise investment in Devon’s highway infrastructure to enable housing and economic growth. The Bridge Road scheme will improve traffic flows around and into Exeter and this upgrade of the Sandy Park junction, will complement the improvements. We can’t delay this important scheme on the A379 and every effort is being made to minimise traffic disruption while the work takes place, including the co-ordination of full road closures on the two schemes. When complete the improvements will ease pressure on the network and will unlock future growth. The A379 is currently used by over 24,000 vehicles every day, and this is set to increase with the future housing and retail developments in this area. The existing junction will struggle to meet future need, which is why this upgrade is essential.”
Sandy Park Way will also be widened to three lanes, with two right turning lanes and one left, and an additional lane on the A379 westbound approach will be built, continuing all the way to the existing Russell Way right turn lane.
The scheme is being funded by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s (HotSW LEP) Growth Deal 1, Exeter City Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy, and Devon County Council.
Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart of the South West (HotSW) LEP, said: “I am pleased to see yet another of our Growth Deal projects start on site. It’s part of the package of infrastructure projects we successfully bid for from government, to open up employment and housing sites and improve journey times. It’s good to see this scheme get underway.”
Contractor South West Highways will carry out the work, and a number of overnight closures will be needed throughout the project, which will be publicised in advance. It is currently anticipated that the first road closure will occur on the evening of Monday 10 October from 10pm – 6am the following morning (Tuesday 11 October) to install temporary barriers to protect the workforce and also road users from future excavations. The diversion during overnight closures will be via Russell Way, Rydon Lane, Hill Barton Road, B3181, Cumberland Way, Moor Lane and Junction 30 roundabout.
A traffic light crossing will be needed on the inbound lanes during the scheme in order to help site staff safely access the central reservation.
Access will be maintained to facilities at Sandy Park.
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