The Switch Island project, which was funded by the governmentâ€™s Â£220 million congestion relief programme, began in early 2018 and was originally due to take 12 months but has been completed six weeks early.
Airport-runway-style LED studs, extra-high traffic lights and high-friction surfaces are among the improvements, following 49 collisions at the junction in two years â€“ an average of one every fortnight.
The 175 LED lights mark out lanes at the junction and automatically switch on when traffic lights turn green, helping drivers stay in the right lane and reducing the risk of collisions.
The new five-metre-high traffic lights are also designed to improve safety as they are higher than HGVs and double-decker buses so that drivers approaching Switch Island can clearly see when the lights are changing.
Other improvements include changes to the road layout and lane markings, new barriers between carriageways, and four new overhead gantries (three of which were added to the programme midway through the work, leading to a final cost of Â£5m). These gantries clearly display destination signs over each lane.
A new 400-metre shared cycle path has been created through the junction as well, which links up with the existing cycle path alongside the A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road.
Our maintenance teams have also been making improvements to the A5036 while the junction upgrade work has been taking place, including filling potholes, installing new signs and repairing footpath guard rails.
We will be performing some landscaping work to improve the area where our site compound area was situated.
|February 2018||Work begins|
|March 2018||New cycle route and new gantry construction work begins|
|December 2018||Sheme completed|
Why we need this scheme
This is a key route that accesses a number of amenities, as well as local employers such as the Port of Liverpool. Successive improvements to the roundabout mean it now has multiple arms. The most recent improvements have been the addition of a direct link from Switch Island to the A595 which bypasses the village of Thornton. The roundabout has a poor safety record with a high accident rate.
The primary aim is to improve safety for road users by encouraging them to reduce speeds and improve their lane discipline. This will be achieved by installing various signs, a new gantry and by improved road markings.
Improvements will include:
- construction of a new motorway gantry
- installation of high-mast traffic signals
- improvements to cycle facilities
- installation of â€˜intelligent cats eyesâ€™ - which light up in response to changing traffic lights
- improvements to the road layout
- carriageway surfacing
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