Work to improve the “concrete pavement” that links a key Somerset town to the M5 motorway will not start until 2023.
Somerset County Council received almost £5million from the Department for Transport (DfT) in July 2020 for a scheme which will improve the roundabout at Junction 26 and the Chelston Link Road to Wellington.
Council leader David Fothergill publicly confirmed in May 2021 that funding for the program had been secured, with officers hoping to start on site in early 2022.
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However, that start date has now moved back at least 12 months to 2023, with operatives saying more time is needed for detailed design work to address “a number of complexities” within the program. .
Mr Fothergill said in May that the scheme was part of the council’s ongoing efforts to provide ‘excellent infrastructure to create the best conditions for economic recovery’, adding: ‘If you have ever driven the ‘concrete pavement’ you will be absolutely thrilled that we’re finally going to be able to fix the loud noise that rattles your car as you drive down this stretch of road.”
The DfT has committed £4.7million to a £100million UK-wide road improvement scheme, with the council providing a further £1million from its capital program.
The concrete pavement linking the M5 to the A38 near Wellington (Image: Daniel Mumby)
The funding will cover structural repairs to the pavement and drainage, which are now over 45 years old, to ensure the road remains intact and less prone to localized flooding.
Existing concrete slabs – many of which have cracked or have been temporarily repaired – will be recycled during construction, reducing the need for fresh tar or other associated materials.
The council said on Wednesday March 9 that it was “a significant project involving a number of complexities”, meaning the start would now be delayed.
A spokesperson explained: “For this reason, we have continued to work with the contractor throughout the feasibility phase, exploring innovative processes that we believe will be much more effective in delivering the required improvements.
“Design work will progress in 2022, with a view to delivery in 2023.”
The area around Chelston Link Road has seen significant development in recent years with the growth of Wellington Business Park – including a new Costa Coffee outlet and more recently a McDonald’s restaurant.
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Somerset West and Taunton Council has identified Foxmoor Business Park – access from the link road – as a key site for the creation of employment land over the next two decades, as part of an ongoing review of its plan local.
The District Council is also currently planning to build a new visitor centre, craftsmen’s workshops and a 50ft beacon on the Foxmoor site, which has been proposed by House of Somerset, as well as a separate employment site on the east side. of the connecting road.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-09 14:36:41