Just when motorists thought it was safe to use the A483 Wrexham Road – another highway project is about to cause disruption in the autumn.
Cheshire West and Chester Council is advertising a £1.2m contract that will widen the A483 Chester -inbound from a dual carriageway to a three lane road between Posthouse roundabout and the business park.
The aim is to improve traffic flow on the A55 as well as the A483 by dispersing traffic off the roundabout more speedily.
Resurfacing will also take place from the A483 Heron’s Way roundabout, running adjacent to The King’s School and up to a point just before Nuffield Health’s Grosvenor Hospital.
Work is due to start in September and will run for approximately two months.
Motorists may feel they are only just recovering from the £6m overrun project at the Posthouse roundabout which caused months of misery in 2014-15 with the final outcome that Highways England admitted it was failing to work as it should.
It’s unclear whether CWaC’s widening of the carriageway will address problems that saw traffic signals failing to work at maximum capacity due to an inadequate traffic modelling exercise.
There are other questions over whether the latest changes take account of plans recently submitted for up to 1,400 homes off Wrexham Road, on fields opposite The King’s School, that will see three new accesses into the site and bus priority measures. And it’s not known whether the developers have been asked for a financial contribution towards the £1.2m project.
However, CWaC is acutely aware the scheme must run to schedule.
The document inviting companies to tender for the work states: “Works will require to be programmed both in school half term time and also on nights. The A483 Wrexham Road is one of the main commuter routes into and out of Chester. It is of key importance to the authority that this project runs smoothly and that we achieve our completion within minimal time possible, with the least disruption as possible.
“Consequently we are looking for a suitably experienced company who can start in September 2017 and is able to work with a positive attitude and fully resource the works in order to complete the work on time. The tenderer must be able to demonstrate a high standard of traffic management experience within their submission in order to maintain traffic access within a busy location to its best maximum capacity as possible.”
Detailing the reason for the Chester-inbound carriageway widening, it states: “The scheme is to aim to reduce the impact of traffic delay and build up at peak times on the A55 both directions, A483 Wrexham leg by aiming to disperse the traffic off the roundabout as speedily as possible by upgrading capacity.
“Work involves excavation of the existing central island area and constructing a third lane off the A55 roundabout. The temporary traffic management is a major factor in the construction along this route.”