AROUND 100,000 tonnes of clay will be transported onto Junction 16 of the M4 over the coming months as part of the latest phase of works to transform the key interchange.
A dozen lorries this week began transporting the clay on to the site to raise several areas next to the current carriageway in order to provide the additional road surface required for the new junction layout.
The lorries will be dropping off the clay between 8am and 5.30pm and will be travelling between Brinkworth and the motorway junction on a regular basis throughout the day. This is expected to continue until July.
About 2,000 tonnes of material will be transported each day, with the total quantity of imported clay being approximately 100,000 tonnes.
Although this phase of the work will have a minimal impact on traffic the situation will be monitored.
A road sweeper will operate throughout the day to ensure the road is kept as clear as possible and the lorries will enter and exit the site via established works access points. No lane closures will be allowed during peak hours.
The £11.5m upgrade of Junction 16, between Swindon and Royal Wootton Bassett, will ensure it can cope with forecast future traffic levels and cater for future development in the surrounding areas, including the nearby Wichelstowe development which will see thousands of new homes built over the next few years.
The improvements are being paid for by Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Swindon Borough Council as part of the Wichelstowe development. It is being delivered by Swindon Borough Council in partnership with Highways England and Wiltshire Council.
Contractor HOCHTIEF (UK) Construction Ltd is on track to complete the scheme by spring 2018. Construction is currently taking place on both the eastbound and westbound off-slip roads, within the south side of the roundabout, at the entrance to Upper Studley Farm and south of the roundabout between Hay Lane and Swindon Road.
Once complete, the new junction will improve highway access to major new housing developments, reduce congestion and delay at the junction and reduce the likelihood of queuing back onto the M4.
Currently 45,000 vehicles use the junction each day, which includes 5,500 vehicles an hour during peak periods.
In the future the junction will support up to 61,000 vehicles per day and 8,500 vehicles per hour at peak times.
Councillor Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “Motorists will now see the Junction 16 scheme really start to accelerate through the spring and summer months as the weather improves.
“This latest phase is essential to create the additional road surface we need to bring about these much-need improvements to the road layout. The junction will be open throughout and we will be monitoring the work to ensure traffic is flowing as freely as possible.
“This major investment in our road infrastructure is essential in order to keep pace with Swindon’s continued growth and will hugely benefit those that use the junction as well as the town’s wider economy.”
Further details about the scheme can be found at: www.swindon.gov.uk/junction16