Significant work required to increase life expectancy of White Hart roundabout
Major reconstruction work will start at White Hart roundabout next month to increase the life expectancy of the road.
Published: Monday, 26th July 2021
Around £2.6m in contingency funding will be spent on the junction upgrade after Swindon Borough Council’s contractor for the scheme, Osborne, found significant defects in the road base underneath the roundabout earlier this year.
The additional work, which is expected to last 12 weeks, will involve digging down almost a metre beneath the surface to build a new structure for the road base. The nature of the work means it will not be safe to keep the roundabout open to through traffic. Access will be maintained for emergency services only and diversions will be in place for all other road users.
Traffic will still be able to use the junction to leave the A419 southbound to join the A420 eastbound, or to leave the A420 westbound to join the A419 southbound only.
Work is due to start on 16 August. It is anticipated motorists will be able to use the new roundabout by November.
White Hart roundabout is one of several key junctions being upgraded to help mitigate the impact of the New Eastern Villages (NEV) development being built to the east of the A419.
Although traffic will be able use the roundabout later this year, the overall £30m improvement scheme is due to be completed in February next year as it also involves creating a new bridge over the Great Western Mainline and a new northbound slip road.
Once completed, improvements to the junction will include an increase in the number of lanes on the roundabout, the addition of traffic signals and the widening of the A419 southbound slip road.
Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Infrastructure, Transport and Planning, said: “There is no getting away from the fact that this extra work is going to create major inconvenience to motorists and I can only apologise for the upcoming disruption.
“However, we have to dig so deep underneath the carriageway that it would not be safe to try and keep one lane of the roundabout open. By closing the roundabout to through traffic it will allow our contractor to press ahead with the work and complete it in the shortest possible time.
“Numerous surveys taken before the scheme got underway suggested a repair of the road would be sufficient. The severe defects in the road structure only became apparent earlier this year when our contractor planed off a section of the carriageway between Merlin Way and Oxford Road to undertake a detailed survey of the road base structure.
“If this work is not carried out, there is a high probability that the road base will fail in the short term, so it is important we invest and do this work properly now.
“We will keep residents, local businesses and motorists informed of our progress on the scheme through our dedicated NEV e-newsletter, letter drops and our social media channels. You can sign up for updates by visiting: www.swindon.gov.uk/newsletter”