Traffic lights have been removed from A394, near Newham Farm.

They have gone! The traffic lights have now been removed from the A394, near Newham Farm. This is indeed good news and follows on from the previous blog where I mentioned the lights would be gone in two-weeks.

However, the work has not been fully completed, but the repair work can continue without the need for traffic lights.

As said before, the scale of works in the repair was huge, and this is what took the time. Thanks should go th Cormac for doing all they could by understanding the need to remove the lights as soon as possible, in time for RNAS Culdrose Air Day, and the school summer holidays.

The work being undertaken at Newham Farm

The work being undertaken at Newham Farm

 

Change of plan for roadworks on the A394 near Newham Farm, Helston

I have learnt in life, the best laid plans often change at the last-minute. In a previous post: Road to be closed for one night I described a solution that would remove the lights whilst the repairs to the carriageway carried on. This will now not happen.

The reason this plan will not happen is for a good reason. This good reason is because excellent progress has been made on the strengthening works on the Newham wall and Cormac are currently way ahead of programme. Cormac have informed the local councillors that with a concerted effort over the next 2 weeks, utilising additional shift patterns, Cormac can complete the initial phase of the works which will result in being 4-5 weeks ahead of where the work was expected to be. This would mean that all traffic management on the carriageway could be removed at this time.

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The scale of the works to repair the A394 near Newham Farm, Helston

In the previous blog post you will recall that following the site meeting held earlier in June an agreement was reached which involved placing steel barriers along the edge of the carriageway and removing the traffic controls over this coming weekend. It was also proposed to remove the road studs and centre line and move this further across the carriageway to even up the lane widths whilst the steel barriers were in place.

The combined cost of bringing the barriers to site, installing them (bolted into the carriageway) maintaining their presence and subsequently dismantling and removing them is in the region of over £20k. In light of the above programme acceleration and costs involved Cormac have reconsidered the previously agreed approach.

The bad news it is now proposed to retain the traffic control for two more weeks allowing the strengthening works to be completed. The controlled length where the traffic lights operate can however be reduced which will increase vehicle flows.

I appreciate this contradicts the previous plan, however, consider that the cost savings may outweigh the slight extension of time where traffic may be delayed. The restrictions will be lifted in two weeks’ time and well before the commencement of the peak school summer holiday and RNAS Culdrose Air Day. I understand people will be disappointed, but the work is near completion and the lights will be gone soon.

There is saying – don’t shoot the messenger…

A394 near Newham Farm, Helston is to be closed for one night

In the last few months there has been concerns expressed about the length of time it has taken and the traffic congestion due to the road repairs on the A394 near Newham Farm, Helston. In a previous blog post I explained the sheer scale of the works required to repair this carriageway.

With the summer holiday season approaching and a massive increase of traffic on the roads Cornwall Council, Cormac and the local Cornwall councillors want to avoid large-scale congestion due to only one lane open on the A394. To avoid this, work will be undertaken to open both lanes on the 5/6th July.

The work require will result in this road being closed for a short period between 5th July at 7pm to 6th July 7am hours. This has to be done to allow certain safety features to be installed to allow both lanes to be open.

So from 7am on the 6th July, both lanes of the A394, near Newham Farm will be open.

Meeting Cormac about the A 394 roadworks near Newham Farm, Helston

On Wednesday, I along with my fellow Cornwall Councillors for Helston, Judith Haycock and Phil Martin, and the Cornwall Councillor for Breage, John Keeling met with senior officers from Cormac to discuss the repair work along the road near Newham Farm.

From the pictures below you can see the scale of the work required to repair this stretch of road. It is hard to understand the scale from the roadside, but being on site, you really get a perspective of how massive the project is.

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Looking right to left, the scale of the work

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Looking left to right, the other part of the scheme

 

The cost of the repair will be in the region of £450,000 and includes the use of over 4,000 tonnes of stone (Six C stone for those technical) that will form a 1 in 2 bank supporting the road and wall.

All the Councillors raised the issue of the impact this repair is having on the traffic and how this needs to be sorted before the main holiday season when this area sees a massive increase of traffic.

The senior officers from Cormac fully understood this, and assured the Councillors they are going as quickly as they can. They also have come up to with a solution that will remove the traffic lights.

The plan is – subject to final approval – to close this road (A 394) on the night of Sunday 6th July to allow essential work to be carried out including installing barriers. Once this is completed, the traffic lights will be removed resulting in both carriageways being able to be used, abet with a reduced speed limit to 30 mph.

Of course the area will be monitored to make sure the carriageway is still safe and there is no additional damage from this plan. The reason this can be done is the strengthening work in the most critical areas would have been completed.

I have also asked during the A394’s closure for parking on Fore Street in Porthleven to be temporary suspended due to the increased traffic.

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temporay supports, buffering up the wall.

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Councillors and senior Cormac officers meeting on site

I am grateful to Cormac for meeting us on the site, this has allowed us to understand the scale of the work.

One lane is closed on the A394 due to collapsed road near Newham Farm, Helston

On the 19th January 2015 the wall supporting the A394 Helston to Penzance road above Newham Farm collapsed. As a result, an emergency lane closure has been established to the eastbound lane of the A394 to protect the travelling public.

The lane is likely to remain closed at this location for several months whilst CORMAC Solutions Ltd carry out further investigations followed by the implementation of an appropriate remedial solution on behalf of Cornwall Council. I am hopeful the road will be open as soon as possible, but the engineers need to access the area fully as there maybe unknown issues that have yet to be uncovered.

As soon as I have more details, I will let you know.

Newham two