Work to re-design the Chowns Mill roundabout where the A45 meets the A6 is set to begin tomorrow (February 10).
It will see road closures, speed restrictions and delays until the completion of the major scheme.
Here's everything you need to know.
How will the new junction be different?
The major difference is that it will have a half-hamburger layout with a new link road connecting the A6 south and A5028 with the existing roundabout. All approaches and exits to the roundabout will be widened with new controlled pedestrian crossing points, new traffic signals, street light upgrades, new gantries, new signs and a 40mph speed limit throughout the junction.
Why is it being done?
Highways England project manager Dean Holloway said: “This much-needed improvement will bring huge benefits for road users, businesses and the local community as we take away this bottleneck and get traffic moving through here again.
“The upgrade will not only increase capacity and therefore reduce congestion, but it will also make the junction safer and improve the experience for pedestrians and cyclists.”
How much will it cost?
How much A45 disruption will there be?
Work will take place at night for the first three months of the scheme to remove the A45 dual carriageway central islands and installing the narrow lanes which will enable traffic to continue to pass through the junction. Then work will take place during the day for the majority of the rest of the scheme.
Two weekend closures are planned for the A45 between Chowns Mill roundabout and Rushden Lakes both east and westbound. The closures will run from 8pm on Friday, February 21, to 5am Monday, February 24, and during the same times the following weekend from 8pm on Friday, February 28, to 5am on Monday, March 2.
Doesn't this work with the Ditchford Lane closure?
Yes. Northamptonshire Highways say Ditchford Lane will re-open by February 18 meaning it will overlap with the first week of Chowns Mill works, when there are lane restrictions on the approaches to the Chowns Mill roundabout. But they have promised they will have finished the Ditchford Lane works before the first full weekend A45 closure.
Will there be closures of roads other than the A45?
Yes. Station Road into Higham Ferrers (A5028) will be closed for approximately nine months.
Highways England said: "This is because we need to significantly lower the level of the road and realign it with the roundabout. This means there will be no access to the Chowns Mill roundabout past Nightingale Way. Bus stops will be relocated during our roadworks and we advise Station Road residents to use the A6 (South) Kimbolton Road roundabout to access their properties."
The Station Road realignment plan has led to a campaign to save a 400-year-old tree. You can read more about that here.
Will there be speed restrictions?
Yes. A 40mph speed restriction will be in place both day and night.
Will these works make my journey longer?
Almost certainly. Highways England are recommending people allow extra time for their journey, especially at peak time.
When will the work be complete?
Who do I contact if I have any questions about the scheme?
You can email Highways England's public liaison officer, Paul Valentine, on [email protected] or call 0333 0124596.