New images capture progress so far as Chowns Mill improvements reach half-way mark

It is hoped the £24 million scheme will reduce 'severe congestion' at this junction

New images released by Highways England give a bird’s eye view of the new ‘half hamburger’ roundabout starting to emerge which will tackle congestion at the Chowns Mill roundabout.

One year on since work started, the progress being made on the improvements at the A45/A6 Chowns Mill roundabout near Irthlingborough is clear in these new aerial pictures.

Highways England is investing £24 million to increase capacity at Chowns Mill which experiences severe congestion due to the amount of traffic on the A45 and A6, as well as local traffic accessing Higham Ferrers and Rushden.

This image shows the road widening that has taken place on the A45 approach to the roundabout, bottom of the image, with the kerbs and footpath in position

The improvements will see the junction redesigned in the half hamburger layout including a new link road connecting the A6 South and A5028 with the existing roundabout.

All approaching roads will also be widened to provide extra lanes and to accommodate more vehicles.

Highways England project manager Dean Holloway said: “Despite the challenges of the last year we have pushed ahead with work on these much-needed improvements.

"We know how important this scheme is for drivers, businesses and the local communities who have been enduring the severe congestion problems at the roundabout.

The half hamburger is starting to take shape with the new section of road constructed around the top half of the ‘bun’, left of picture. The new splitter island is being created on the A6 heading northbound towards the bottom of the image

“The new layout will mean smoother, safer and more reliable journeys for drivers and we will build on the progress already made to deliver these improvements as soon as we can.”

Single and narrow lanes have been introduced during the work to keep roads open where possible.

However, to enable the next stage of the scheme to go ahead and ensure the safety of road workers, the roundabout will need to be closed to traffic for two consecutive weekends.

This is to enable a new road surface to be laid on a number of sections.

This view from above shows the new roundabout starting to take shape with the new entrance to Station Road bottom left. The A6 northbound, on the right of the image, is currently single lanes while the work takes place

Taking advantage of the lower traffic levels due to lockdown restrictions, the work can be carried out swiftly by fully closing the roundabout for two weekends rather than having a series of road closures over several weekends or nights.

The roundabout will be closed from 8pm on Friday, February 19, until 5am on Monday, February 22.

It will also be closed the following weekend from 8pm on Friday, February 26, until 5am on Monday, March 1.

For drivers on essential journeys, diversion routes agreed with the local authority will be clearly signposted.

An artists impression of how the roundabout will look when work is completed. The A45 westbound runs from the roundabout to the left of the image. The A6 southbound can be seen on the right of the image

Once the re-surfacing work is completed, drivers will benefit from smoother and quieter roads through the junction.

In line with Government policy, the construction work has continued following strict safeguarding measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

None of Highways England's sites are open to the public.

The Chowns Mill improvement scheme started last February and is due for completion winter 2021/22.

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