Extra cash agreed to speed up ring road repairs

Published on: 28 Jun 2017

Funding to allow repairs to the Bromley Heath viaduct to be completed in 33 weeks rather than a year has been agreed at the eleventh hour.
The decision today will be a huge relief to families, commuters and businesses along the length of the Avon Ring Road,
The essential maintenance to the bridge over the river Frome means that traffic on the busiest section of the A4174 between the Hambrook traffic lights and the Bromley Heath roundabout will be reduced from four lanes to two.
All vehicles will be diverted on to the newer northern viaduct while the work is carried out on the southern viaduct, which was built in the 1960s. However, the old bridge will be open to emergency vehicles after eight weeks. Cyclists and pedestrians will use the footway of the northern viaduct.
The road is usually used by 55,000 drivers and 500 cyclists every day.
South Gloucestershire Council is planning to start the work this month, when traffic flows are lighter.
A decision about the additional funding was delayed by general election “purdah” but today, at the first meeting of the Joint Committee made up of members of the new West of England Combined Authority and North Somerset Council, it was agreed to allocate £2.8m from the Local Enterprise Partnership Economic Development Fund (EDF).
This means South Gloucestershire Council’s contractors will be able to work dual shifts on weekdays and some weekend work to finish the repairs more quickly.
The project is expected to cause jams of up to three miles and delays of two hours at peak times. Many roads in the surrounding area will be affected as drivers seek alternative routes.
It is hoped that a 220-place park and ride at Lyde Green will be opened early to help reduce the number of cars on the ring road.
Cllr Colin Hunt, Cabinet Member responsible for transport, said: “Reducing the length of the work will help to alleviate congestion and the impact of diversions on local communities, commuters and people travelling through the area. We know the scheme will cause significant disruption for people but we are trying everything we can to mitigate this. 
“We are listening to people and where possible, we have been able to adjust our plans based on residents’ feedback.” 
Mayor of the West of England Tim Bowles added: "This is a good example of where our partnership working is funding the sort of projects that have both community and strategic benefits for the wider region." 
Local Enterprise Partnership Interim Chair Professor Steve West said: "I'm delighted that in one of our first decisions we've been able to approve funding that will dramatically speed up an essential maintenance scheme that will benefit drivers, cyclists and pedestrians."

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