Construction work starts today on A453 widening project
CONSTRUCTION work started officially today on the A453 widening project and was marked by the Highways Agency's Chief Executive digging the first piece of turf.
He was joined by agency colleagues together with representatives from the contractors Laing O'Rourke in a muddy field between Clifton and Barton in Fabis, an area soon to become the west bound carriageway.
The Highways Agency's Chief Executive Graham Dalton said:
"This stretch of road is not long, about seven miles, but a very important artery to a busy city. I am really pleased to be here today and I would urge road users to bear with us, we will get the job done as quickly as we can."
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Some 30,000 vehicles a day use the road which has become a major link serving Nottingham, the M1 and East Midlands Airport.
When asked why the widening project hadn't been carried out years earlier Mr Dalton added:
"The important thing is that we are here now and we are starting work."
The £150 million project, designed to reduce congestion and make the route safer, is due to be complete by the summer of 2015.
There will be a 40 miles per hour speed limit along the road during the work which will widen the seven mile stretch between M1 Junction 24 and the A52 Nottingham Ring Road.
The 1.5-mile urban section through Clifton will also be widened from a two-lane single carriageway to a four-lane single carriageway, with traffic lights at the existing Crusader Roundabout and new traffic-light controlled roundabout junctions at Green Lane and Farnborough Road.
In a written statement Roads Minister Stephen Hammond added:
"Upgrading and widening the A453 demonstrates this Government's commitment to improving our road network and helping to stimulate growth.
"Extra capacity on the road will deliver significant economic benefits for both local businesses and motorists while helping to improve road safety."
Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, which has contributed £20m towards the scheme, added:
"I am delighted that construction work is at long last beginning on improving the A453.
"The improvements to this vital route will bring huge benefits to the Nottinghamshire economy and that of the East Midlands as a whole.
"Nottinghamshire County Council and the local business community campaigned long and hard for its improvement, with the County Council itself putting £20m into the scheme.
"News that work is now starting is fantastic news for everyone in Nottinghamshire."
To find out more about the A453 widening scheme, people can visit public information exhibitions starting today.
The exhibitions will be held at Clifton Leisure Centre, Southchurch Drive, Clifton, NG11 8AB, on Friday 11 January from 2pm to 8pm and on Saturday 12 January from 10am to 4pm. The exhibition will then move to Kegworth Whitehouse Hotel, Packington Hill, Kegworth, DE74 2DF, on Sunday January 13 from 10am to 4.30pm.
People can register for updates on the scheme's webpage http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/A453-Widening-M1-Junction-24-to-A52-Nottingham or call the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.