The people behind the bypass work on the A585 north of Blackpool have been praised for getting a key road open again ahead of schedule.
County councillors have praised the way National Highways has delivered a key phase of work in the £150m Windy Harbour to Skippool project.
The organisation, formerly Highways England, is bypassing Little Singleton village with a new dual carriageway, linked to new junction arrangements along the existing A585 at Windy Harbour and Skippool. This project, due to be completed in 2023, aims to ease congestion, support the economy and improve safety around Poulton-le-Fylde.
Work is taking place to remodel Skippool junction, where the western end of the new bypass will tie into the existing road, by replacing the roundabout there with a signalised crossroads.
Keir construction manager, Dave Cooper with enivronmental advisor Daphning Pierre at the Skippool Road junction on the A585
As part of that work it needed to close Skippool Road, a local road north of the roundabout, for six weeks and that road reopened two days ahead of schedule on Friday, October 22.
National Highways and lead constructor Kier have now been praised by local Lancashire County Council members for the way the closure was handled.
Councillor John Shedwick, county councillor for Thornton and Hambleton, said: “Firstly, the works were scheduled for 12 weeks and I am grateful that National Highways listened to myself and Councillor Clempson and reduced it to six weeks.
“Another key to this has been the way the closure has been communicated with the public and the signage has been informative over the whole area. I understand this work was not foreseen in the original planning and I do hope there will not be any more surprises which will further inconvenience local residents and the traveling public.”
The work on the road was part of the bypass project designed to improve traffic flow on the A585
Councillor Alf Clempson, county councillor for Poulton-le-Fylde, said: “I can only echo councillor Shedwick’s comments. These works were unavoidable and were to upgrade and divert the essential local water supply. I will continue to work with Coun Shedwick and National Highways and Kier Highways to minimise future disruption for our local residents and all road users during the remainder of the project.”
Councillor Shedwick singled out David Whitelow, Kier stakeholder manager, for particular praise. David has become one of the project’s ‘familiar faces’ in the area since the project started last year.
Councillor Shedwick said: “I would particularly like to thank David because I know he’s been running around our roads as well, dealing with any problems we might have had. His commitment to communicating the closure of Skippool Road has been key.”
National Highways project manager Tristram Bardrick said: “We’d like to thank everyone affected by the closure of Skippool Road for their patience and support over the last six weeks.
The overall project is due to end in 2023
“We are grateful and heartened by the comments from councillors Clempson and Shedwick. We’ve been committed to an ongoing conversation with local people right from the start of the project and it’s encouraging to see our approach paying off.”
The main construction work got under way in February and progress so far includes:
Completing the removal of the roundabout island at Skippool junction ahead of its replacement with a signalised crossroads at the end of the new bypass
Starting to widen the bridge and carriageway at Skippool Bridge and Skippool Bridge junction with a fortnight’s piling work which was completed in September.
The work is by National Highways with Keir as main conctractor
Starting excavations and other preparations to construct the new bypass itself. This includes the section crossing the A586 local road where a new Poulton junction will be provided with the new bypass and at Lodge Lane where a bridge will be constructed to carry the local road over the new bypass.
Skippool Road opened two days early
Work at the nearby roundabout