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A31 set for weekend closures as part of major £25m revamp

THE A31 could be closed at the weekends this summer for preliminary work on a multi-million-pound revamp at Ringwood.

The BT cable within the two A31 bridges near the town needs replacing and a temporary one will have to be installed while they are rebuilt, Highways England revealed.

"To enable us to safely lay this cable, we’ll need to temporarily close the A31. We’re planning for this to be completed over weekends to minimise impact to traffic," it said.

The West Street access onto the A31 has already been closed off
The West Street access onto the A31 has already been closed off

It added that the gas main does not need to be moved as part of the scheme.

As reported in the A&T, Ringwood town councillors have warned motorists may face more than a year of misery from diversions and road closures when the £25m Highways England project to widen the westbound carriageway of the A31 to three lanes, alongside other upgrades, gets under way.

The agency has mooted shutting the slip road from the south side of the main Ringwood roundabout onto the westbound side of the dual carriageway from November 2021 until November 2022 and a contraflow system on the eastbound carriageway from January to November 2022.

An eastbound lane closure of the A31 is also due this October to the end of the year, according to briefings reported by the town council. No official diversions have been revealed yet but the alternative "rat run" onto the westbound A31 via West Street has already been closed.

This year there are also set to be five months of rolling road closures of some Ringwood streets as Highways England diverts the utility lines from the bridges before the main project proceeds.

It has already begun moving an electricity cable to West Street and, to minimise disruption, combined that with Hampshire County Council’s work to improve access for walkers and cyclists.

The Highways England newsletter said the water main diversion will be carried out by South West Water contractor Keir in May.

Traffic management restrictions will be in place on Mansfield Road from May to August with temporary traffic lights.

From August to September temporary three-way traffic lights will be at Churchill Gardens while there will be a rolling road closure at Bickerley Road, with access retained.

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