ROADWORKS: Night-time lane closures on A303

ROADWORKS: Night-time lane closures on A303

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 9:04am 7th October 2019.

Highways England will be working on the Countess roundabout at Amesbury for the next 9 weeks.

The work starting tonight (Monday 7th October) will see lane closures in place on the roundabout itself.

They'll be in force on weeknights only, between 8.00pm to 6.00am. 

This part of the work will take 3 weeks,  to allow for drainage and sewerage surveys.

It's all preparation work for the planned Stonehenge tunnel project, which could also include a flyover for the Countess roundabout.

Highways England A303 Stonehenge Tunnel February 2018 2 (Highways England)
How the Countess roundabout could look with a flyover built

After the three weeks of night-time lane closures, there'll be another 6 weeks of 'ground investigation work' at the roundabout. 

That will start from early November.

WHY IS THE WORK BEING DONE? 

Highways England tell us this is the 'next phase' of the project's preparation.

The scheme has yet to be formally approved to go ahead, but if it does, the A303 would become a dual carriageway through a 2 mile tunnel, with a bypass for Winterbourne Stoke and the flyover.

The whole project's due to cost £1.7 billion.

Highways England A303 Stonehenge Tunnel February 2018 3 (Highways England)
An artist's impression of the proposed upgrade to the A303 by Stonehenge

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH PLANNING? 

The plans for the A303 project have been under scrutiny by the Planning Inspectorate for the last six months.

It follows hundreds of responses from members of the public and organisations, raising concerns or objections to the idea and its designs.

Those against the scheme are worried about the impact on the important archaeological sites that surround the area.

The results of that investigation aren't expected until early next year.

A303 west Stonehenge - traffic jams queue - May 2016 (Mike Draper)
The changes to the A303 would mean the road isn't visible to those going to the monument, and drivers can't see the stones from their windows

Highways England has already opened up the tender process for the building work itself - saying they're starting that to prevent delays further down the project.

Derek Parody, Project Director, said: 

"Our ongoing survey work in no way pre-empts the outcome of the Development Consent Order Examination. The surveys are taking place to help bidders with their tenders, ensure there is no delay to the programme and put us in a position to be able to start construction on schedule in 2021, providing consent is given.

And while the work continues around Countess Roundabout, we'd like to thank local communities and road users in advance for their patience."

Geotechnical surveys, to help with the procurement process, have been taking place around the World Heritage Site since July.

Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Spire FM

© Copyright 2019 Spire FM, A UKRD group company