DAYTIME motoring on the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road should start getting a little easier after months of long delays and detours for drivers due to major roadworks.
This weekend will see the removal of the contraflow, with daytime opening of both northbound lanes from Sunday. But the southbound carriageway will still be restricted to one lane during the day until near completion of the work sometime in June.
In addition both north- and southbound carriageways will be subject to a succession of overnight closures over the next two weeks, mainly for surfacing and white lining.
Key features of the scheme are a concrete central reserve barrier less susceptible to collision damage and widening of sliproads at the Blackwater and Cooper Dean junctions will improve traffic flow with the southbound sliproad extended to Wessex Waterworks giving a third lane on completion.
The work is part of the Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme transport schemes announced in September 2016 by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership with over £20m investment for a series of highway improvements along the A338 and B3073 corridors.
The aim is better access into and around Bournemouth Airport as well as unlocking employment land at Aviation Business Park and Wessex Fields.
New permanent average speed cameras on the A338, installed this spring and managed by Dorset Police, will continue to enforce the 40mph speed limit in place for the duration of the roadworks returning to the 50mph permanent speed limit when officially complete.
Last week Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council contractors finished the new central reserve concrete barrier works at the Cooper Dean roundabout.
On the northbound side of the A338 at Blackwater Junction, they have also finished the concrete works on the bridge over the River Stour and the improved off-slip, and installing steel vehicle protection barriers on the bridge.
Southbound from Blackwater Junction, the contractors have been installing fencing to protect resident otters from the carriageway and direct them to safer crossing points.
The roadsides should soon be greening up again, thanks to hydroseeding of verges due for completion this week.
Following is a breakdown of the final traffic management scheme for overnight work with the programme subject to change as the works progress.
Tonight (Friday), 8pm to 6am Saturday: full closure of the A338 northbound carriageway from Cooper-Dean Roundabout to Ashley Heath Roundabout for surfacing work and barrier removal.
Tomorrow (Saturday), 8pm to 6am Sunday: full closure of the A338 both directions between Ashley Heath Roundabout and Cooper Dean Roundabout, southbound to remove the contraflow and install southbound splitter, and northbound to remove the contraflow and complete white lining.
Next week from Monday to Friday nights (8pm to 6am): full closure of the A338 both directions between Ashley Heath Roundabout and Cooper Dean Roundabout, southbound for surfacing and northbound to plug joints and barrier works.
Week starting Monday 20th May: full closure (8pm to 6am) of the A338 southbound on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday between Ashley Heath Roundabout and Cooper Dean Roundabout, for surfacing and white lining, and northbound closures on Wednesday and Thursday (8pm to 6am) for white lining.
Finally there will be some resurfacing southbound at Cooper-Dean on the night of Friday 24th May without carriageway closure.