The works include the removal and replacement of the surface course and partial removal/repairs to the underlying pre-existing concrete pavement.
The works are required, as the road surface has reached the end of its serviceable life. We are also undertaking repairs to the concrete road layer under the road surface. Once repairs are complete, the new surfacing will have none of the existing transverse joints, which cause unacceptable amounts of noise when trafficked. The work will also mean far fewer unplanned closures for emergency repairs, which are becoming ever more frequent.
The project is programmed to take approximately 4 weeks and will consist of 4 weekends (Friday evening – early Monday morning) of continuous working with a full A55 westbound carriageway closure from J36 Broughton to J34 Ewloe with associated diversions. During the week (Monday – Friday), there will be further full overnight A55 westbound carriageway closures with diversions. A daytime lane closure will be operational on the A55 during the works period in the interests of public safety, and to allow materials used in the repairs to have sufficient time to cure/set.
All efforts are being made to reduce any disruption associated with the works to a minimum however; there are some activities that are dependent on the weather. Whilst we have made provision for some bad weather, exceptionally poor weather could potentially extend the duration of the works.
For this project, full overnight A55 westbound carriageway closures with traffic diversions or daytime lane closures are required in order to undertake the works in a safe and efficient manner, both for the workers on site and the travelling public. Other options such as lane closures and contraflow arrangements have been considered very carefully, however these have been discounted on this occasion due to either increased safety risk or greater levels of disruption on the wider road network. By using a full westbound carriageway closure, it will also allow work to be carried out on both lanes concurrently, which will reduce the overall project duration
There are some activities within the works that require dry weather, and materials, which require minimum temperatures to be installed. We have given the timing of this project much consideration and we believe we have picked the optimal compromise between traffic flows and weather/temperature requirements.
Between Monday and Saturday, during the daytime, there will be a lane closure in operation. The lane closure will be installed in the interests of public safety and to allow certain materials like concrete to achieve the required engineering properties (‘curing’ time). Every effort will be made to undertake other activities during these periods to ensure that the work is undertaken as efficiently and safely as possible.
As the work involves the full width of the westbound carriageway, the contractor will require storage space for materials, plant, offices and welfare facilities. This will assist with the safe and efficient running of the site during the overnight closures, resulting in the section of carriageway between J36 Warren Interchange and J35 Dobshill Interchange being utilised for this purpose.
A contraflow system has been carefully considered. However, due to the complexities of the junction with the A494 at Ewloe and the potential for significant delays and accidents, this option was not deemed suitable.
Unfortunately, as with any construction project, there is a certain amount of noise emission that cannot be avoided. However, the contractor will make every effort to minimise noise emissions during night time operations as far as is practicable but it cannot be guaranteed that residents will be unaffected by noise levels to some extent. It is of significance that those likely to be most affected by the night-time works noise will ultimately benefit from less noise when the works are complete, particularly the noise created by the current construction joints about which we have received many complaints.
Unfortunately, there are several areas of worn out carriageway (with concrete underlay) within the A55 Ewloe to Broughton and A483 Pulford to Wrexham areas that will require this treatment over the next few years. As areas are completed, the risk of emergency repairs will be significantly reduced and the running surfaces will be safer and quieter.
We have liaised closely with the local authority to ensure the most suitable diversions routes are used and to manage the routes throughout the period of the works effectively.
The alternative routes, which will be signed as appropriate, will vary depending upon destination and when a particular length of trunk road or slip road is temporarily closed to traffic.
These alternative routes will involve the A5104; A5118; A549; A541; A5119 A550; A494; B and unclassified roads, with diversion signs in place.