There have been 501 consecutive days of no routine daytime lane closures on the A55 between Junction 11 and the English border, Transport Secretary Ken Skates has today announced.
During that period, dating back to April 2017, all routine work involving lane closures has taken place overnight. Daytime lane closures have only been necessary in the immediate aftermath of serious collisions.
Today’s announcement comes as essential improvement works are needed on the Kneeshaw Lupton underbridge near Junction 23 Llanddulas.
The works, on the westbound carriageway only, will begin on 17 September which will be 532 days after the last routine daytime lane closures on the A55 between Junction 11 and the English border.
It will see all surfacing removed, waterproofing of the bridge deck and the replacement of bridge joints.
This work requires a full closure of the westbound carriageway in the area with a contraflow in place which will see a single traffic lane in each direction 24/7 for up to five weeks. The waterproofing needs to be laid in reasonable weather conditions which is why it has been programmed to take place during this period. All work will be completed by midday on 18 October at the very latest, which is before the beginning of the half term holidays.
Due to the nature of the engineering works and to ensure safety, 1.5 metre high boards will be installed with work taking place on the other side of these.
Similar works on the eastbound carriageway are set to take place later next year.
Transport Secretary Ken Skates said:
“I have been absolutely committed to ensuring there have been no routine daytime lane closures on the A55 from the English border to Junction 11 from April 2017 until September 2018 and I am delighted we have delivered exactly that.
“During that period, resurfacing long lengths of the A55, repairs and maintenance, including to the route’s tunnels, have all been carried out overnight resulting in very little disruption to traffic.
“I want to thank officials, contractors and all those involved in planning these works who continue to work tirelessly to ensure the smooth running of this key route.
“We have also been carrying out night time works on the Kneeshaw Lupton underbridge near Llanddulas to keep in use the temporary repairs we have previously put in place on the structure. We do however need to carry out permanent repairs as the bridge deck itself is now showing signs of distress. I have to reiterate this is essential work which must take place.
“I fully understand that roadworks during the daytime can cause disruption, but they need to be carried out on all major roads to ensure the safety of the travelling public and strengthen a route’s resilience. These are matters on which I will not compromise. We have also taken action to offset the impact for the travelling public by ensuring work on the eastbound carriageway can be delayed until next year.
“I ask the travelling public for their patience whilst this work is carried out and it will be on a 24 hours a day, seven days a week basis at pace so it can be completed as quickly as possible.”
Updates of the essential improvement work will be available on the Traffic Wales website and twitter page (@TrafficWalesN).