Good progress is being made on one of Wokingham Borough’s major highways schemes, with pre-construction works for the improvements at Lower Earley Way due to start shortly.
The works will see Lower Earley Way widened to allow two traffic lanes in both directions from Loddon Roundabout, near Showcase Cinema to the new junction with the Winnersh Relief Road, and footpaths improved for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. This ispart of the wider Winnersh Relief Road phase 2 scheme, which is one of nine projects that Balfour Beatty have been contracted to deliver on behalf of Wokingham Borough Council.
The overall package of works makes up Wokingham Borough’s Major Highways Programme, which aims to build vital new strategic roads and highway improvements in order to relieve congestion and support growth in the borough.
The enabling works, which are expected to be completed before Christmas, will assist with the preparation of the site in anticipation of the construction start in Spring 2019. They will include site clearance, removal of vegetation as well as Japanese knotweed, ditch excavation and civil works to assist utilities’ diversions. The aim will be to minimise traffic disruption in the area, with two-way traffic to be maintained on Lower Earley Way through narrow lanes traffic management.
As part of the work, a wetland environment will be provided and some trees will be removed to promote the re-establishment of wet grassland. This is part of the approved design agreed with ecology officers as a way to restore the local wildlife site to species rich grassland.
Councillor Anthony Pollock, executive member for highways and transport, said: “Widening Lower Earley Way is a vital part of the Winnersh Relief Road, which, when complete, will reduce congestion at Winnersh Crossroads. It is great to see Balfour Beatty cracking on with these projects because we know residents have concerns about congestion and they need to see the results of the massive investment we are making in new roads and other improvements.”
Wokingham Borough Council, in meeting its responsibilities to deliver new housing, is committing substantial investment, secured from developers, in a wide range of infrastructure. This comprises new schools, open spaces and leisure facilities, community facilities and roads amounting to nearly £1 billion investment.
Ben Murphy, project director at Balfour Beatty, said: “We are pleased to have been given this opportunity to help make a positive impact to the lives and livelihoods of communities across the borough of Wokingham through the delivery of the Major Highways Programme. We remain committed to this exciting project; one which we hope will make a real and lasting difference to us all now, but also for future generations.”
More information on the Lower Earley Way improvements and Arborfield Cross Relief Road schemes will be available via the Wokingham Borough Council website at www.wokingham.gov.uk/major-new-roads
Residents and businesses across the wards affected by the projects can expect to receive in the post a letter of notification about the nine schemes included in Wokingham Major Highways Programme delivered by Balfour Beatty alongside a newsletter. The newsletter provides contact details for the Major Highways Team should anyone have any queries relating to the programme.