The works in Southend to improve some congested junctions is progressing really well and hopefully drivers will already be seeing the benefits even before the full works are complete.
Birse Civil Engineering are carrying out works at both Progress Road junction and at Cuckoo Corner as part of the Better Southend Schemes. Both jobs have been going since the summer and both have suffered in the last couple of weeks from the cold snap and associated snowfalls.
At Progress Road the works north of the A127 look to be almost complete. The A127 eastbound approaching the junction has been widened to the north to give three lanes at the lights although only two lanes are in use for the moment. Through the junction and onto the A127 exit is also widened tying into the existing highway alignment.
Work is currently focussed on modifying the central reserve and adding the new dedicated right turn lane from the A127 eastbound carriageway into The Fairway. This right turn is temporarily closed while the work is done and hopefully will be re-opened by the Christmas break.
After Christmas work will focus on the A127 westbound carriageway widening the south kerbline at the approach to the junction. After that the new signals will go and and the work will be done.
A couple of photos below were taken at night before the cold snap. More from this set can be found here.
At Cuckoo Corner the works are similarly progressing well. A recent closure of Priory Crescent allowed the works to that leg of the roundabout to be blitzed and completed in a short sharp period. Priory Crescent now has 2 lanes on the westbound approach with 3 at the stopline – though 2 only are in use at the moment – and 2 lanes exiting the roundabout eastbound.
Drivers using this stretch of road are already benefiting from the extra lanes approaching the roundabout and this will ease congestion considerably over the Christmas period. The trees alongside the road and in Priory Park remain healthy and frankly it is no worse environmentally than before the works started. I hope all those who protested against this scheme take note of this.
Works to the traffic islands on the other roundabout legs is in progress as is the minor mods to the roundabout inner kerbline. After Christmas works will no doubt focus on widening the eastbound A127 approach to the roundabout to 3 lanes. All in all I consider the works to be going very well and whilst there has been some traffic disruption at progress Road in the evenings that has prompted me to curse a little, it is impossible to do this sort of work on such busy roads without there being some disruption to roadusers.
All things considered I would say well done Birse and well done Southend Borough Council.
Below are a few photos taken at Cuckoo Corner today on a rather grey afternoon. More from this set can be found here.