A VIP tree planting ceremony has taken place to mark the end of a £24million scheme by National Highways to tackle congestion at a busy roundabout.
The extensive works have included creating a ‘half hamburger’ roundabout at the A45/A6 Chowns Mill junction and widening the roads approaching the roundabout to create extra capacity for traffic.
Work is now coming to an end – ahead of schedule – on the Northamptonshire junction with the final batch of trees and bushes going in the ground.
MPs Peter Bone (Wellingborough) and Tom Pursglove (Corby and East Northamptonshire) were on hand to help plant one of the last trees on the roundabout and mark the successful completion of the much-needed work.
North Northamptonshire Council leader Jason Smithers and Council Executive Member for Highways, Councillor Graham Lawman, also attended the tree planting event as well as representatives from National Highways and contractors Carnell and Ground Control.
Since work began on the junction in February 2020, the scheme has involved:
- around 275,000 man hours
- installing 43 new lighting columns, with energy saving LED lamps
- laying 6,250m of kerbing – stretching to almost four miles
- using 60,000 tons of imported stone
- lifting three superspan gantries, each around 40m long and weighing up to 25 tons, into place
National Highways Project Manager Dean Holloway said: “The completion of these ambitious improvements is good news for local businesses, communities and road users who will all benefit from smoother, safer and more reliable journeys without much of the congestion they previously had to endure.
“Pedestrians and cyclists will also be able to use the junction much more safely thanks to the traffic lights and improvements we have introduced. Knowing how important this work is for people and the local economy, we are delighted that we have been able to complete the scheme ahead of schedule and road users are already experiencing better journeys through this busy junction.”
MP Peter Bone said: “It is a pleasure to be here, and ahead of schedule! I am particularly delighted for my constituents, especially those in Higham Ferrers and Rushden, who are already benefiting from the completion of this fantastic project. “The listening campaign, which was supported by so many local people, has delivered this extraordinary double roundabout which has massively reduced traffic congestion.”
MP Tom Pursglove added: “These improvements are massively important to my constituents. This is a huge upgrade to our local road infrastructure on what was an incredibly dangerous road previously.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone at National Highways and to my constituents who supported all of the campaigning that went on to deliver these improvements. I think it’s really welcome that it is a much safer roundabout. The new layout makes absolute sense and is really easy to navigate. It’s a big success.”