Somerdale Junction Improvement Works

Completion

95%

Update 26th June 2018:

As many of you have noticed, we’ve had a busy few weeks carrying out the planning and re-surfacing of the new junction, the application of the high friction surfacing and road markings (along Keynsham Road, Somerdale Road, and Station Road) and the installation of the induction loops for the new traffic signals. Many of these operations have been carried out at night, and through liaison with Bath & North-East Somerset Council we were able to close Keynsham Road for two nights over the 07th and 08th June. It was very much the intention to minimise the impact of the works on traffic by carrying out these activities at night, which generally speaking seems to have been achieved. We are aware that some of the noisier operations caused some disruption to local residents, and we would assure all parties that we tried to manage this by carrying out these activities as early in the evening as the sequencing allowed – and we would apologise for any inconvenience that the works still managed to cause.

The traffic lights are due to be commissioned this week – Thursday 28th June – and the controller units successfully passed the factory test last week. Our operations on site are primarily of a tidying up and finishing nature, with all of the residual bits and pieces now underway. We have our surfacing contractor on site this week to complete the various patches of footpath and trench reinstatements; which include the new cycleway along the disused railway sidings. In order to accommodate these surfacing works, there will be localised traffic management in place to ensure the safety of the personnel carrying out the works, and both pedestrians and traffic users. Again, working with BaNES, it was decided at the start of last week that the temporary traffic lights could be removed and we understand that this has significantly alleviated the traffic queues through the works

Update 1st June 2018:

As we are approaching completion of the works, we have now started on the preparation of various areas for the final surfacing and finishing works. The traffic signals contractor started with the installation of their cabling and furniture this week, and the last few items associated with the street lighting – including all of the underground disconnections and connections should be finished next week.

Whilst we still have the temporary traffic signals in place – next week, over Thursday, Friday & Saturday (07th, 08th, & 09th June) we have overnight closures between 20.00 and 06.00 to carry out the planing of the existing road, the replacement and installation of the new carriageway surface, the laying of areas of new high friction surfacing (on the approaches to the new signals), and the application of road markings. Access will be maintained to both the Somerdale development (including the existing properties to the north) and the train station car park, but there will be no through traffic along Keynsham Road. A diversion route, approved by BaNES, will be provided. With the number of activities being carried out during these nights, there will be attendant personnel on hand to assist traffic safely through the works areas. We would advise that there may be localised delays during these periods.

Update 24th May 2018:

The main focus over the last few weeks has been the facilitation of the various electric disconnections and new connections to the street lighting and what will be the controller units for the new traffic lights. We have been required to excavate and expose numerous locations around the site in order to expose existing electric apparatus so that Western Power Distribution could carry out their specialist works. As such there has been somewhat limited progress regarding new kerbs and general footpath works, although these will start again next week.

The traffic signal contractor is due to commence on Tuesday 29th May with the installation of the various posts and signal heads, along with the cabling for the new traffic lights themselves. Various tweaks have been made to the traffic management scheme with a view of reducing the impact on the general traffic; it has been recognised that the nearby A4 improvement works appear to be having a significant effect on the volume of traffic using Keynsham as an alternative route. It has now been agreed with BaNES that the final surfacing to Keynsham/Station Roads can take place overnight on the 07th & 08th June (with reserve dates of the 14th & 15th June should there be adverse weather); with the operations scheduled to take place between 20.00 and 06.00; and whilst there will be a signed diversion in place there will be localised delays for traffic trying to use these lengths of carriageway. Access to the Somerdale development and existing residents will be maintained at all times.

Update 30th April 2018:

Works have progressed within the Phase 2 traffic management scheme, with the area immediately to the east of the railway station entrance/exit having been completed with the first layer of surfacing constructed this Friday. The deterrent paving has been installed along the face of the existing wall, as well as the small area at the new road junction. After uncovering the foundation to the old Somerdale Road, and through consultation with the BaNES team, a much larger area of road construction was required to the east & north of the new junction, as it was apparent that the old carriageway had not been constructed to modern standards.

The installation of the new street lighting columns has started, within further lights being installed over the forthcoming weeks. Western Power Distribution are due on site at the end of next week to start on the placement of the new low voltage cables providing power to these; and the new traffic signal systems. Further bituminous surfacing will be constructed on Monday, with the final layer being placed along the new Chandos Road cycleway. We will be altering the traffic management on Monday (30th April) to implement what will be Phase 3.

Update 18th April 2018:

Works are ongoing within the Phase 2 traffic management scheme, with the area immediately to the east of the railway station entrance/exit now having had the ducting and the new base for the pedestrian crossing controller cabinet installed. Re-configuration works to the kerb lines are ongoing and will continue until the week of the 23rd April.

We have now also started on the new kerb line along the north of Station Road, and have removed the existing surfacing along this section. Preparatory works will be carried out next week for the subsequent deterrent paving that is required to the installed along this length. We have proceeded with the widening of the new junction at the exit of Somerdale Road, with the presence of existing utility apparatus proving to make the works in this area more challenging than anticipated. We are hoping to proceed in to Phase 3 of the traffic management around the 26th April.

Update 6th April 2018:

The Phase 2 traffic management has been implemented and activities have commenced on the area immediately to the east of the railway station entrance/exit. Further evidence of the historic railway line level crossing has been uncovered and we’re currently trying to establish what, if any, impact this feature will have on the works we need to carry out. Works have started on the re-configuration of the kerbs along Station Road, and the installation of further traffic signals and electric ducts along this south side of the carriageway. We have also made good progress with the storm water system that will serve the new configuration of the road junction. The last couple of days’ of dry weather have allowed us to continue with the placement of topsoil along the new footpath/cycleway along the now-closed section of Chandos Road.

Update 29th March 2018:

Despite being advised that additional works are required regarding the local electric infrastructure, works have progressed well and some of the time lost to recent adverse weather conditions has been retrieved. We will have completed Phase 1A of the traffic management scheme by the end of this weekend, and on Tuesday (03rd April) will be implementing Phase 2. During this phase, we will be starting on the re-configuration works to the kerbs along the train station side of Station Road, as well as the installation of further traffic signals and electric ducts along this south side of the carriageway. We have continued with the placement of topsoil along the new footpath/cycleway along the now-closed section of Chandos Road, whilst also starting to install the tactile paving at the new traffic light junction. Investigative works have been undertaken to locate existing utility apparatus across the old five-way junction, and subsequently drainage works to the new storm water system have been commenced.

Update 19th March 2018:

The brickwork at the entrance to the proposed footpath/cycleway link to the Chocolate Factory will continue for the next few weeks with steady progress having been made thus far – additional time is being taken to dress the salvaged stone from the old wall.

The surfacing operations to the Chandos/Claudius/Priory Road carriageway and Priory Road turning area junction have been completed, with the footpaths being in a temporary condition until the new street lighting has been completed.

The new cycleway along (the now closed section of) Chandos Road and the footpath opposite the railway station have had the first layer of bituminous material constructed, with the final layer proposed to be installed when all other works have been completed.

We have now completed Phase 1 of our traffic management scheme, and on Thursday this week implemented Phase 1A (traffic lights have been re-located towards Brass Mill); and are expected to be complete within a fortnight.

Update 9th March 2018:

Following the recent snow and freezing temperatures, works have started on the brickwork at the entrance to the proposed footpath/cycleway link to the Chocolate Factory and will continue to progress for the next few weeks.

The surfacing operations to the Chandos/Claudius/Priory Road junction, the new cycleway along the now closed section of Chandos Road, the new turning area on Priory Road, and the footpath opposite the railway station will start on Monday 12th March, and are anticipated to take all week.

There will be localised traffic management required when we are surfacing the Chandos/Claudius/Priory Road junction carriageway, and as such there may be small delays to people’s journeys during these operations.

We have encountered a number of existing large electric cables within the verge to the east of the junction, but having engaged with the very helpful Western Power Distribution team, we have now ascertained whether these are now live or redundant, and have a strategy going forwards in how to safely deal with them.

Update 26th February 2018:

The historic railway lines that used to form the level crossing for the track feeding the chocolate factory have now been cut off and removed, preparation works for the new entrance wall to the proposed footpath/cycleway along the disused track have progressed.

The brickwork is due to start week commencing 26th February, although the forecasted freezing temperatures may limit our ability to progress too much with these activities.

Further works have been carried out on the junction improvement at the crossroads between Chandos, Claudius & Priory Roads, and we are in discussion with our surfacing contractor regarding a date to complete this area.

The good progress along the footpath/cycleway link to the closed section of Chandos Road has been maintained, and we are proposing to surface this at the same time as the junction. Meetings have taken place with the traffic signal contractor and start dates for their installation works are in the process of being agreed.

Update 16th February 2018:

Operations have been ongoing with the new traffic signal ducts alongside the existing highway opposite the train station – We even managed to uncover evidence of the (disused) historic railway line that used to head towards the chocolate factory! Works have continued with the junction improvement activities at the crossroads between Chandos, Claudius and Priory Roads, and we anticipate the surfacing activities to be carried out at the end of February. We have made good progress with the removal of the surfacing along the closed section of Chandos Road, and have commenced on the construction of the footpath/cycleway link.

Update 9th February 2018:

Works have progressed well on the removal of the wall along Keynsham Road, with the demolition having been completed this week. Operations will progress next week with the foundations to the new wall, and the commencement of the installation of the new traffic signal ducts alongside the existing highway. We have continued with the junction improvement activities at the crossroads between Chandos, Claudius & Priory Roads, and we would hope to be completed in this area by the end of February. Priory Road has now been closed at its southern end and the turning area formed in this area. Discussions are ongoing with Network Rail regarding further operations within this area.

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In order to carry out the junction improvement works whilst maintaining the safety of all vehicle users, cyclists, pedestrians, and of course the operatives carrying out the construction activities, it will be necessary to cordon off various sections of the highway. The placement of temporary traffic signals to control road users will allow Montel Civil Engineering to operate on the carriageway in distinct areas so that we are able to complete the necessary activities within these zones at the earliest opportunity.

Works required along Keynsham, Somerdale and Station Roads include:

  • Realignment of kerb lines to form the new three-way junction. In order to provide the safest configuration achievable, the new alignment will require the closure of Chandos Road and Priory Road.
  • Amendments to the existing drainage network to ensure that the new layout does not flood.
  • The installation of two sets of (permanent) traffic lights; the first to provide a signalised junction between the three retained roads, and the second to form a new pedestrian/cycleway crossover adjacent to the train station entrance/exit. These require the introduction of significant lengths of traffic signal ducts along existing footpaths and verges in order that the necessary traffic detectors are able to be linked and feedback to the control unit the presence of queuing vehicles.
  • The partial removal of the five-metre high wall along the north of Keynsham Road. This is to be taken down in order to provide a new entrance feature to what is proposed to be a new footpath/cycleway link along the (now) disused railway siding that connects Keynsham Road to the old Cadbury factory.
  • The re-surfacing of the junction, and the application of road markings to suit the new layout – which will include a designated right turn into the Somerdale (and existing) housing development.

Frequently asked questions

Q. When will the traffic lights start on Keynsham Road?
A. The temporary traffic lights will run from the 29th January 2018 until 8th June 2018.

Q. Will these lights be manually controlled during peak times?
A. To alleviate the build-up of traffic, the lights will be manually operated between the hours of 07:00am and 19:00pm Monday to Friday.

Q. Which roads will be affected by the works?
A. The traffic lights will be situated on Keynsham Road with some smaller scale works being undertaken on Station Road.

Q. How long can I expect to be delayed waiting in traffic?
A. This obviously depends on the volume of traffic and therefore will fluctuate during the day. We would advise that should alternative routes be available, then these are used. Montel Civil Engineering will monitor waiting times and provide feedback.

Q. Are the temporary traffic lights going to be in place seven days a week?
A. In order to try and assist road users, we anticipate that should it be safe to do so, then the lights will be removed overnight and at weekends. Our first operation is to take down the wall opposite the train station entrance/exit. With the health & safety implications surrounding the demolition of this structure, it is expected that the temporary traffic signals will be in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week until these operations have been concluded.

Q. The traffic lights are still in place, but I can’t see any works being carried out. Why are they still there?
A. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing road works in place but no activities being carried out. Montel Civil Engineering are aware of this and the perception it gives. We can only state that the lights will only be left in place if we have any safety concerns that prevent their removal – or if the works programmed for that day dictate that we need to have them in place. There are a number of activities that will be weather dependent, and as such there may be instances where the lights are on in readiness for that day’s scheduled works, but the conditions (either at that time or forecast) dictate that those operations cannot be carried out. When this becomes apparent, the lights will be removed.

Q. Will there be any full closures?
A. In order to carry out the final surfacing works, it is anticipated that a full (but limited) closure of the Keynsham/Somerdale/Station Road junction will be in place. All traffic wishing to access/exit the Somerdale development and existing properties (as well as emergency services) will have access maintained, but the road will be closed to “through traffic”. The date for this closure will be advertised well in advance of the proposed timeframe.

Q. Where can I find updates about the scheme?
A. There will be a dedicated website which will go live on Thursday 18th January and be updated on a regular basis, all information can be found here http://montelcivilengineering.co.uk/portfolio/somerdale-junction-improvement-works/ We will also be tweeting about the scheme as it progresses follow @Montel_CivEng

For 24/7 emergency contact or complaints, please call 07909 440 340.

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