MAJOR £8m roadworks to improve a main route along the Waterside will start this week.
Seven junctions on the A326 will be upgraded, along with one on the B3053 Fawley bypass, to boost capacity for those living and working in the area.
The upgrade will begin on 1st December and last for 18 months, but investigative work in the area will start tomorrow (Wednesday) for about four weeks.
This includes underground utility investigations, trial holes and ecological surveys, and see temporary traffic signals and lane closures Monday-Friday between 9.30am and 4pm.
This comes in the wake of Fawley Waterside’s £1bn plans to redevelop the old power station site with 1,500 homes and commercial properties – backed in outline by both New Forest District Council and the national park authority.
Many objectors to Fawley Waterside’s scheme have cited increased traffic on the A326 as a concern.
HCC transport boss Cllr Rob Humby said: “The A326 needs significant improvement at the northern end to improve access for public transport, walking and cycling and we will be submitting a bid for national funding for this major infrastructure work.
“In the meantime, our team will be implementing some modest but much-needed improvements to increase capacity at these eight junctions, improving access for communities to areas of employment and education, while supporting the economic prosperity of the area.”
HCC said the work would increase capacity at the junctions, which experience congestion and delays, and “create a more resilient network that is better able to accommodate future growth in the area”.
Solent Local Enterprise Partnership has given £5.7m towards the scheme, and Fawley Waterside has provided local match-funding of £2.4m.
The first phase, which starts in December, includes:
- Long Lane/A326 (Holbury Roundabout), widening of approaches and exit lanes;
- Hardley Roundabout, widening of approaches and exit lanes;
- Applemore Roundabout (Sizer Way), widening of approaches and exit lanes;
- Dibden Roundabout, widening of approaches and exit lanes and new pedestrian crossing.
The second phase will start late winter/early spring and includes:
- Blackfield Road/Church lane/B3053, signalised junction proposed, including new crossing facilities;
- A326/Holbury Drove, new southbound right-turn ghost island including new pedestrian crossing facilities;
- A326/Southbourne Avenue, new southbound right-turn ghost island;
- Dibden Purlieu Roundabout, widening of approaches and exit lanes.