Bell junction footbridge to be removed this week

A closure to part of the A127 will be in place this weekend to allow the removal of the footbridge at The Bell junction as part of wider improvement works. Additional essential A127 maintenance work will also be carried out over this weekend to minimise disruption.

Bell Junction in Southend

The £5m Bell junction upgrade project, which is largely funded from the Government’s Local Growth Fund (£4.3m), will see a number of changes to the layout of the junction to improve traffic flow on the A127. Part of the improvement work will see the existing footbridge removed as it fails to meet existing disability discrimination legislation because of the stepped ramps, and removal allows room for the new dedicated lane onto Rochford Road and new pedestrian island on Hobleythick Lane.

To allow the safe removal of the footbridge, overnight road closures, in both Southend and London bound directions will be in place from 8pm – 6.30am Friday 18 September – Sunday 20 September.  These works are subject to weather conditions, and if necessary, a further overnight closure may be required on Sunday 20 September.  Vehicle access will be provided to residents and businesses during this closure. The Bell Junction will also be closed with no access from Rochford Road or Hobleythick Lane. The north end of Hobleythick Lane will also be closed.

The additional essential maintenance involves works to a very poor 540-meter section of the A127 Southend bound carriageway between the Bellhouse Lane and Kent Elms junction. The work involves filling voids under the concrete carriageway, removing tarmac to expose the concrete slab, repairing the concrete slab and then replacing the carriageway surfacing back to existing levels. The works require a number of overnight road closures and a weekend closure for the safety of the public and works are scheduled to be carried out on the dates listed below (Essential Maintenance), and are due to be complete on Tuesday 29 September. Vehicle access will be provided to residents and businesses during this closure.

The proposed road closures are as follows, and are subject to weather and how the work progresses:

Road closure dates:

The Bell

  • 18/09/2020 – 21/09/2020 overnight road closures in both Southend and London bound directions between Tesco roundabout to Cuckoo Corner (8pm – 6.30am) Closures to be removed Monday 21 September 6.30am.  Unrestricted access will be provided on to the A127 London bound carriageway from Midhurst Avenue, Colemans Avenue, Richmond Drive, Rochester Drive, Queen Anne’s Drive, Northville Drive. The Bell Junction will also be closed with no access from Rochford Road or Hobleythick Lane.  The north end of Hobleythick Lane will also be closed. 
  • 21/09/20 – 11/12/20 narrow lanes west bound from Cuckoo Corner to Bell Junction for the construction of the junction improvements - Lane 1 closures daily during the above time for the works to go ahead (0900 – 1500) - including narrow lanes in Hobleythick Lane during the above time for kerbing works.

Essential Maintenance

  • 18/09/2020 – 21/09/2020 weekend road closure from 8pm on Friday 18 September to 6.30am Monday 21 September in the Southend bound carriageway between Progress Road and Kent Elms junction.
  • 22/09/2020 overnight road closure A129 Rayleigh Weir to Kent Elms Junction for one night (9pm – 5am)
  • 28/09/2020 overnight road closure A129 Rayleigh Weir to Kent Elms Junction for one night (9pm – 5am)

Cllr Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, inward and capital investment, said: “The removal of the footbridge is a key milestone in the project. It’s removal will allow a pedestrian island to be built on Hobleythick Lane and later on in the works be able to construct the dedicated left-hand turn onto Rochford Road, which is a key element of the project to keep traffic moving at the junction and therefore improve air quality.

“We have timed the removal of the footbridge so that it coincides with other essential maintenance which needs to be carried out further along the A127. By carrying out both sets of works over the same weekend we are able to minimise disruption of traffic in and out of the town.

“As we take this big step in the right direction for the project, I am pleased to see that collaborative work between highways officers, Eurovia and the utility companies has enabled us to get to this stage, and I hope we can continue in this vein for the remainder of the project.”

All lane closures will be clearly signposted, including appropriate diversions. Access to Denton Approach from Prince Avenue has been blocked off whilst works are carried out. Access to properties will be maintained.

For more information on the works, please see our further webpages.

Published: 15th September 2020

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