CHANGES TO JUNCTION WILL ENABLE DEN BROOK WIND TURBINES TO BE DELIVERED
by Alan Quick
DETAILS of a revised programme for completion of the new link road at Whiddon Down have been announced.
Work re-commenced on Monday, January 4 and is expected to be completed by the end of the month.
The new link road is designed to improve safety and visibility at the junction between the A382 and A3124.
The improvement works are being delivered by RES (Renewable Energy Systems Ltd), the renewable energy developer currently constructing Den Brook Wind Farm, between North Tawton, Spreyton and Bow.
RES had originally hoped to complete the works prior to Christmas, but the programme would have involved a road closure of up to three weeks and was not well received.
Construction manager Richard Wagstaff explained: “Local people asked whether it was possible to reduce the road closure period and maintain through access for longer during the road improvements.
"RES has therefore been working with the local highways authority, the designer and our contractor in an effort to address the concerns raised.
"We are pleased to confirm that a revised plan for the completion works has been developed.”
The revised programme will still require temporary closure of the A3124 to enable the new link road to be joined to the existing road network, but RES and its contractors have agreed with Devon County Council’s Highways Department that this can be done over three consecutive nights.
The essential night closures will take place from 8.30pm until 4.30am on January 15, 16 and 17.
Between these times there will be no through traffic access between the A382 and the A3124 at Whiddon Down.
A signed diversion will be in place via other "A" roads.
The temporary closure of the A3124 will apply from the existing junction with the A382 (opposite "The Post Inn") to the road bridge which crosses the A30. Local access will be maintained to properties and businesses on the short stretch of road between the existing A3124/A382 junction (opposite "The Post Inn") and the new link road.
During daytime, through access at the junction will be maintained using temporary traffic controls and single lane restrictions. RES is advising people to allow additional time for their journeys until the Whiddon Down Link Road is complete.
The revised programme was finalised following discussion with the highways authority; local people, including visits in person to near neighbours in Whiddon Down and along the affected stretch of the A3124; and a meeting with local councillors.
RES has written directly to more than 2,500 properties – including local businesses such as bus companies, funeral directors and hauliers – to advise people of the revised programme.
Richard Wagstaff, RES construction manager, concludes: “The existing crossroads near the ’Post Inn’ at Whiddon Down are well-known as a local pinch-point and we assessed this junction in some detail as part of the approved turbine delivery route for Den Brook Wind Farm.
"Our investigations ultimately determined we did not need to alter the existing junction, but having learned of previous plans for a link road we were happy to revive them and deliver these major road improvements as part of our commitment to communities near our wind farms.
"The new junction certainly makes delivery of our turbines easier, but more importantly it will permanently improve traffic flow, visibility and road safety for everyone using the new link road.”
Regular updates about progress at Whiddon Down can be seen on the project website: www.den-brook.co.uk/whiddon-down-link-road/ .
• RES is one of the world’s leading independent renewable energy project developers with operations across Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific.
At the forefront of renewable energy development for more than 30 years, RES has developed and/or built more than 9,000MW of renewable energy capacity worldwide.
In the UK alone, RES currently has more than 1,000MW of projects either constructed, under construction or consented.
RES is active in a range of renewable energy technologies including both onshore and offshore wind, solar, wave and tidal as well as enabling technologies such as energy storage and demand-side management.
• Crediton High Street will close to through traffic for four weeks from Market Street to The Duke of York from January 25.
South West Water will be carrying out major works to replace collapsing sewage pipes and diversions will be in place while the A377 is closed in the town.
Local businesses have been advised of the closure.
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