Road realignment preparation work starts at Abbey Barn Lane, High Wycombe
Work gets under way next week on early preparations to realign Abbey Barn Lane, High Wycombe, and create a new roundabout junction with Kingsmead Road.
The new 500 metre stretch will help the road network deal with increasing traffic, and serve two housing estates - one for 140 homes planned at the northern end and one for around 500 homes, being built by Berkeley Homes further south.
It also aims to get rid of a pinch-point: the narrow Abbey Barn Lane crosses an old railway bridge and takes a sharp bend to an acute-angled junction.
Investigation work by Buckinghamshire County Council contractors Galliford Try starts on Monday (20 January) and continues until mid-February. It will involve boreholes to check geology and road foundations, and include surveys of utilities and drains.
Mark Shaw, Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member, said the County Council would co-ordinate the investigations by Galliford Try with other work being done by Berkeley Homes, and dovetail them with litter-picking by Wycombe District Council.
While work is being done, Abbey Barn Lane will be closed for two weekends: 8pm Friday to 5am Monday, from 7 to 9 February and 14 to 17 February.
"I do understand the two weekend closures will cause some inconvenience, and I apologise for this in advance," said Mark. "However, this is a great opportunity to invest in our roads by exploring how to get rid of an awkward junction, and help to improve traffic flow.
Mark explained the planned project was at the preliminary design stage, and the ground investigations were needed to enable designers and engineers to plan a road on one of Wycombe's challenging steep slopes and minimise impact on the surrounding environment.
Once the ground investigation work results are known, the realignment route can be confirmed, detailed designs drawn up, public consultation arranged, and a planning application submitted around the end of the year.
The £11.5 million cost of the project is being met from developer contributions and the government's Housing Infrastructure Fund.
IN THE PICTURE
Pinch point: Abbey Barn Lane acute-angled junction, which would be replaced by a roundabout. Inset, Mark Shaw, Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member