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Major A35 closures from Bridport to Honiton planned for May
PARTS of the A35 will be a ‘no-go’ area in May when it is shut in both directions for half a million pounds worth of road repairs.
The road closures between Bridport and Honiton will be over ten days in May and details are on show at Bridport town hall until 5pm today.
The road is being treated with a specialist surface that cannot be laid in moist conditions - meaning the road will have to be shut during the day.
Equipment used to do it is too wide to allow for single carriageway closure, said David Groves, operational manager of Connect, which manages the trunk road on behalf of the Highways Agency.
Although the specialist surface, which then has to have an anti-skid topping, is weather sensitive the road will be shut at night to prepare the road by repairing existing potholes and cracks first.
Heavy traffic will have to use the A37, A3088, A303 and the A30 and there will be more local diversions signposted for lighter traffic that will also have to take into account the closure of Beaminster Tunnel.
Diversion routes will see lorry drivers having to take a 67 mile detour to get from Honiton to Bridport, increasing estimated journey times from 33 minutes to an hour and 35 minutes.
Local diversions will double journey times from Axminster to Bridport on the 31-mile diversion.
Mr Groves said: “Because of the constraints of this material May is the best time to do this. If it is too hot the binding won’t set so we can’t wait until the Tunnel road is open.”
The work will have to be postponed if it rains, he added.
The road will be manned at both Honiton and Monkeys Jump to advise motorists, particularly lorries, they won’t be able to get through - the road will be physically blocked where the work is being carried out.
Access for residents will be maintained but only from one direction and there will be 30,000 letters delivered to households and business along the affected route.
Mr Groves added: “The timings of the road closures mean that businesses will be able to arrange deliveries after 3.30pm.”
For Colin Brown of Cains Farm wholesale fruit and vegetable merchants and hauliers in Chideock the news of the closures came as a bombshell.
Mr Brown said they had lorries and vans coming in and out on a daily basis.
He said: “This is a bombshell. I really need to study the detail.
“We are a wholesale fruit and vegetable merchants and we have to make daily deliveries, everywhere we go we travel on the main road, it is ludicrous, there is enough upset with the Beaminster tunnel road closure let alone anything else.
“I am very concerned to find out how it is going to effect the daily operations of our business.”
- Road closure times Thursday May 9 – to May 11 closed from 8pm to 6am Sunday May 12 to May 14 closed at the Crown Roundabout to Miles Cross from 8pm to 3.30pm.
- Tuesday May 14 to May 15 closed from Penn Duals to Thistle House closed from 8pm 3.30pm.
- Wednesday 15 to May 16 closed from Wykes Farm overbridge to Trinity Hill.
- Thursday May 16 to Saturday May 18 closed from 8pm to 6am. Access will be maintained throughout the works for residents, (only one way), emergency services and construction traffic. There will be NO through route for any vehicle except emergency services.
- If there is an accident on the diversion routes the work can be stopped and the road re-opened.
- Traffic entering the A35 from side roads within the roadwork points will be directed in either direction avoiding the blocked areas.
- Dates may change if the weather is wet or too hot.
- Throughout all closures, additional maintenance activities will also be carried out, such as, road markings, surface patching as required, sign cleaning, gully emptying, sign replacement and litter picking.
- There will be a live phone line open 24 hours during the roadworks 01404 823381.
- There will be digital advance warning signs along the route.