Jam-busting route under way

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Jam-busting route under way

Posted: 13/01/2007 14:11:35

Somerset Highways will start preliminary work next week (January 15) on the Northern Inner Distributor Road, a key element of the major regeneration strategy for Taunton.

Engineers will conduct exploratory investigations along the route which is designed to relieve traffic congestion and provide access to substantial areas of brown field development land.

“The Third Way, which will provide a new north–south town centre route and a new bridge over the River Tone, will provide the infrastructure necessary for us to ensure that Project Taunton is fully realised.“

Contractors are expected to take about two weeks to complete the drilling of boreholes and excavation of trial pits at strategic points along the route. The investigations will be used to establish ground conditions, check for contamination and determine the direction of any underground water table.

Sites include Chip Lane, both sides of the River Tone at Priory Fields and near the redundant rail bridge in Station Road. It is not envisaged that these works will affect traffic.

The Northern Inner Distributor Road will provide a new east-west route between Staplegrove Road and Priory Avenue to relieve traffic congestion along Greenway Road and Priorswood Road. The route will also provide access to significant areas of brownfield land for re-development.

The Taunton Third Way is designed to relieve congestion in Taunton town centre and improve the environment for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users within the main shopping streets. A new road will link Castle Street in the south to Wood Street in the north completing a new link between Wellington Road and Bridge Street.

The combined scheme is to cost around £28m and is funded by the Department for Transport. Construction works on the Third Way are expected to start in July 2008, last approximately 14 months, and on the Northern Inner Distributor Road about a year later and take 18 months.

Somerset County Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Cllr Tony Shire, said: “This is a great way to start the New Year! This road will be a vital part of the most significant transport project in the area in the next decade.

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