Drivers are being asked to take special care on the A540 Chester High Road when work gets underway to lay an underground electricity cable as part of the Western Link project.
The cable is being laid in the inside lane of the Chester-bound dual carriageway between the junctions with Damhead Lane and Mudhouse Lane. Rolling roadworks will see one short section of the inside lane closed at a time as the work progresses, but there will be a period where the lane is closed along the whole 2 km stretch toward the end of the three months. This will allow the cable to be pulled through special ducts being laid in trenches in the road surface to receive it.
A 40mph speed limit will be introduced during the work for the safety of motorists, cyclists and engineers.
Peter Roper, Senior Project Manager said: “Safety has been at the forefront of our minds during the planning of this part of the Western Link project. The A540 is a vital link between communities on the Wirral and the main motorway network and we will carry out our work in a way which will keep traffic moving and keep people safe at the same time.”
He added: “One of our concerns is for the safety of cyclists. We’ll only be closing 250 to 300 metre sections of the inside lane at a time while we dig a trench to take the cable duct. When we do need to close the whole two kilometres to pull the cable through the ducts, we’ll allow cyclists to use the inside lane, within the safety of our coned-off area.”
People will still be able to reach homes and businesses along the A540 and bus stops and bus services won’t be affected. There will be short periods of time when access to Hadlow Road, and making U-turns at the traffic lights by Gordale Garden and Home Centre, won’t be possible. Signs will be in place and the Western Link website (www.westernhvdclink.co.uk) will be updated to let people know when these parts of the work are planned.
Peter added: “We’ve worked closely with Cheshire West and Chester Council to agree our working arrangements. We appreciate that the A540 is a main route across the south of the Wirral peninsula, and so we’re working seven days a week to complete this phase of our work as quickly as we can. We apologise for any inconvenience caused in the meantime.
“We would ask everyone using this section of road over the next few months to have patience, and to take particular care around cyclists and when approaching bus stops.”
Notice of the work on the A540, and any road closures needed for cable installation across the Wirral peninsula, are posted on the Western Link website www.westernhvdclink.co.uk. If people have any queries about the project, they can contact the Community Relations Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0800 021 7878.
The £1 billion Western Link project is a joint venture between National Grid and ScottishPower Transmission. When complete, it will bring renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses in England and Wales and help the UK meet its carbon reduction targets.
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