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Tuesday, 07 July 2015 (3067819)
(Headline n/a)
by Tom Martin

THE wait is nearly over for motorists who have been left frustrated by the delayed opening of the Thornton to Netherton link road after it was revealed it is set open in the first week of August.

Work on the 2.8 mile project, which cost around £18million, has been prolonged on several occasions since it first started in January 2014 but construction is finally coming to an end next month.

It was initially expected to take around 12 months but the opening was pushed back, leading to rumours that there were problems with construction.

It has now come to light that the reason behind the prolonged opening of the road was addition work needed to “stabilise the road foundation” and a change in the method of concrete laying.

But vehicle drivers can now look forward to reduced traffic times as access to the road is now drawing nearer.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “Work on the new Thornton to Switch Island link road is now in the final stages and is expected to be completed in the first week of August. The new 2.8 mile road will be known as the A5758 Broom's Cross Road.  

”The new road will take high volumes of through traffic out of Netherton and Thornton and will reduce peak hour journey times for motorists by up to seven minutes.

“Despite some early delays in the project, it had been hoped to complete the works in the spring of 2015. Unfortunately the final stages of the scheme have taken longer to complete than planned. There were two locations where additional work had to be done to stabilise the road foundation to make it suitable for laying tarmac on.

”In addition, the method for laying concrete for the new vehicle testing site at Switch Island had to be changed to account for the condition of the material within the old Switch Island roundabout.

“Sefton Council, main contractor Balfour Beatty and their sub-contractors have made every effort to complete the works to the highest possible standard.  

”Plans are in place to open the road to road users in early August. Details of the exact date will be announced soon.“

MP Bill Esterson added: ”The delays have been frustrating for residents and for contractors alike and I understand are the result of the challenges of dealing with the water and ground conditions.  

“Nearby roads have faced delays and Brickwall Lane will need some night time closures so look out for the signs or go on the Sefton website. But in a few weeks time, the work will be finished and the new Broom's Cross Road will be open.

”This should help improve journey times, hopefully to the benefit of our economy with savings to businesses from the time saved. And there have been local firms involved on some of the sub contract work as well as local people being employed by the contractors, something that was written into the contract for the road.

“I hope that the people of Sefton benefit in the longer term from having the road and that it contributes toward improvements in prosperity for the people of this area.”


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