THE new Whiddon Down link road connecting the A382 to the A3124 is to be completed using night closures, a new revised building programme has revealed.
Details of a revised programme for completion of the new link road has been announced. Work recommenced on January 4 and should be completed by the end of this month.
The works are being delivered by RES, the renewable energy developer currently constructing the Den Brook wind farm between North Tawton and Bow. The firm had originally hoped to complete the works prior to Christmas but the programme would have involved a road closure of up to three weeks and was not well received by local people.
Construction manager Richard Wagstaff said: ‘Local people asked whether it was possible to reduce the road closure period and maintain through access for longer during the road improvements.
‘RES has therefore been working with the local highways authority, the designer and our contractor in an effort to address the concerns raised. We are pleased to confirm that a revised plan for the completion works has been developed.’
The revised programme will still require temporary closure of the A3124 to enable the new link road to be joined to the existing road network, but RES and its contractors have agreed with Devon County Council’s Highways Department that this can be done over three consecutive nights.
The essential night closures will take place from 8.30pm until 4.30am on January 15 to 17.
Between these times there will be no through traffic access between the A382 and the A3124 at Whiddon Down; a signed diversion will be in place via other ‘A’ roads.
The temporary closure of the A3124 will apply from the existing junction with the A382 opposite The Post Inn, to the road bridge which crosses the A30. Local access will be maintained to properties and businesses on the short stretch of road between the existing A3124/A382 junction opposite The Post Inn and the new link road.
During the day, through access at the junction will be maintained using temporary traffic controls and single lane restrictions. RES is advising people to allow additional time for their journeys until the Whiddon Down link road is complete.
The revised programme was finalised following discussion with the highways authority, local people — including visits in person to near neighbours in Whiddon Down and along the affected stretch of the A3124 — and a meeting with local councillors.
Now the details are confirmed, RES has written direct to more than 2,500 properties – including local businesses such as bus companies, funeral directors and hauliers – to advise people of the revised programme.
Richard Wagstaff said: ‘The existing crossroads near the Post Inn at Whiddon Down are well known as a local pinch-point and we assessed this junction in some detail as part of the approved turbine delivery route for Den Brook wind farm.
‘Our investigations ultimately determined we did not need to alter the existing junction, but having learned of previous plans for a link road we were happy to revive them and deliver these major road improvements as part of our commitment to communities near our wind farms.
‘The new junction certainly makes delivery of our turbines easier, but more importantly it will permanently improve traffic flow, visibility and road safety for everyone using the new link road.’