Work on a series of improvements to a major road junction in the centre of Rochdale gets under way this month.
The scheme at Townhead junction, which links John Street, Whitworth Road, Yorkshire Street and St Mary’s Gate, is set to increase capacity at the well-used site.
The work, which will be delivered in three phases to minimise disruption, will mainly involve the widening and lengthening of lanes to give people more room to turn left and right and reduce queues.
The first phase of the project, which begins on Monday (22 June), will involve widening the left turn from Whitworth Road into Yorkshire Street by setting the footpath back into the grass verge from just south of the Tanners Arms Hotel.
During this phase, which is expected to take around four weeks, there will be no left turn from Whitworth Road onto Yorkshire Street, with drivers being diverted down John Street to eventually rejoin Yorkshire Street via Entwisle Road.
The second phase of the work, from 20 July, will involve a six-week closure of Whitworth Road and John Street while engineers construct new traffic islands, guardrails and bollards.
A diversion route will take motorists travelling down Molesworth Street along Entwisle Road, Yorkshire Street and St Mary’s Gate and back round to Whitworth Road, via Spotland Road, Falinge Road and Howard Street. The route is reversed for motorists travelling in the opposite direction. All diversions will be clearly signposted.
This phase of work has been timed to take place during the summer holidays when the roads are generally quieter.
During the final phase, which is due to start at the beginning of September and last 13 weeks, additional lanes will be constructed at the junction of St Mary’s Gate and Yorkshire Street to give extra space for turning right onto Whitworth Road and John Street. The roads will reopen as single lanes during this time, with temporary lights controlling traffic. There will also be occasional overnight closures.
Access to businesses and car parks in and around the town centre will be maintained throughout the works.
Councillor Jacqui Beswick, Cabinet member for Housing and Environment at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “This work will significantly increase capacity and reduce queueing at a key town centre junction, making life much easier for the many motorists who travel through Rochdale town centre every day. It was also ensure that our road network can serve our rapidly changing town centre, which will continue to grow and improve in the years to come.”For more information on the works and the diversion routes, please visit: www.rochdale.gov.uk/highways