Vital resurfacing work and traffic light repairs on a section of the A30 in West Coker have been delivered on budget and more than a week early.
Somerset Council’s Highways teams resurfaced 7,000 sqm of West Coker’s High Street and replaced ageing traffic signals on a narrow section of the road.
The challenging scheme meant a 24-hour road closure was needed from Saturday 22 July while the work is carried out. The scheduled finish date was Monday 4 September, but the teams have delivered the new road surface and traffic signals over a week early, with work completed by Friday 25 August.
Somerset Council’s Chair, Councillor Mike Best was on hand to officially open the road during a ‘rope cutting’ ceremony in West Coker. The rope was chosen due to the village’s historic connection with rope making – in the 1800s the works in the village, now a museum, supplied the Royal Navy with much of its rope.
The scheme is part of Somerset’s £16.6 million signals refurbishment programme which is a county-wide initiative replacing traffic signals which have reached the end of their working life. The opportunity was taken to carry out a significant resurfacing scheme alongside the signals work as the road surface was showing clear signs of wear and tear.
During the works a package of measures were introduced to minimise disruption:
- Free shuttle bus services from West Coker to Yeovil, and West Coker to Crewkerne to replace key bus services which could not run through the A30. These linked villages on route.
- Gates at either end of the A30 closure staffed 24-hours a day to ensure access for residents and businesses throughout.
- A dedicated community liaison officer on site Monday to Friday to support residents and businesses.
- Convenient access to the GP surgery and businesses throughout the closure.
- A public drop-in event to enable residents to view the plans and flag any concerns.
Councillor Mike Rigby, Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital, said:
It was imperative we carried out these works as the traffic signals had to be repaired and in addition to this the road surface in West Coker was in urgent need of attention.
The work was originally planned for last year but logistically that wasn’t possible. The planning and preparation for this scheme has been exemplary thanks to great partnership working between our contractor Centregreat and the Somerset Council team – not to mention the fantastic support from local Council members and West Coker Parish Council, who have been pivotal in the smooth running of the scheme.
Most importantly, I’d like to offer a heartfelt thanks to the local community who have been patient and supportive during a challenging time, with the main A30 route through their village closed for just over a month.
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