A £7m investment to improve Windle Island – one of Merseyside’s busiest road junctions – will start on Monday 6 August.
Taking 40 weeks to complete, the scheme will result in improved pedestrian safety, smooth traffic flow – and make for better access in and out of St Helens.
Unavoidable permanent lane closures mean delays are likely, therefore motorists using the East Lancs (A580) and the Rainford By-Pass (A570) may wish to alter their commuting routes.
A580 westbound carriageway inclusive of Rainford Road to Tesco exit will be closed on Monday 6 August between the hours of 7:00pm and 6:00am.
A580 eastbound inclusive of A570 to Crank Road will be closed on Tuesday 7 August between the hours of 7:00pm and 6:00am.
Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times via the permanent crossing route; however a diversion of the existing pathway if needed will be installed around the construction works, suitably signed.
The scheme will cost a total of £7,247,000 – over half of which is being funded by the Local Growth Fund through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Single Investment Fund. While the remainder is funded from St Helens Council’s own receipts, borrowing – and highways capital programme.
The Windle Island Junction Improvement Scheme was approved by the LCR Combined Authority following a successful business case submission to address key issues in St Helens, and to support economic growth in the wider City Region.
Commenting on the scheme, St Helens Council Leader Derek Long says it will make Windle Island Junction safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
“This investment will make Windle Island Junction safer and easier for the tens of thousands of cars, cycles and pedestrians that use this junction every day.
“The changes will improve residents’ journeys and ensure there is capacity for the borough to grow by ensuring better traffic flow along the East Lancs for key locations such as the Haydock Industrial Site.
“Obviously with such an investment there will be some disruption in the short term but we hope residents appreciate we are aiming to keep this to a minimum.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Our main purpose as a combined authority is to create the right conditions for our economy to grow and benefit everyone in the city region.
“We are investing £3.85m in these improvements because we recognise that the Windle Island junction is a key element in the city region’s transport infrastructure. Increasing its capacity will address current severe congestion, safety and network capacity issues and will give a boost to the whole of the Liverpool City Region economy.”
Central to the improvements will be:
· A new four lane southbound approach to Windle Island Junction, providing a dedicated left turning lane to A580 eastbound towards Manchester and a dedicated right turning lane to A580 westbound towards Liverpool.
· The reintroduction of two lanes southbound through the junction, with the left hand lane for St Helens Town Centre via Rainford Road (including Tesco and Starbucks access), and the right hand lane for Eccleston and Prescot via Bleak Hill Road.
· A new left turn deceleration lane from A580 westbound onto A570 southbound to reduce queue lengths and improve safety.
· Two dedicated right turn lanes from the A580 westbound (towards Liverpool) onto the A570 northbound (towards Rainford). This will reduce queue lengths.
· A new 40 mph speed limit around the junction to improve safety.
The whole scheme is expected to be completed by spring 2019.