New bridge to close A303
Users of the A303 in South Somerset will have noticed the roadworks on the Sparkford to Ilchester section. This is to turn the current single carriageway section over Camel Hill into dual carriageway. National Highways have decided to install a bridge over the A303 to reduce the use of the existing road by construction traffic. A spokesperson for National Highways told us “By working this way, construction traffic transporting earth from one side of the site to the other doesn’t impact motorists using the A303, and the temporary bridge will be in place for 35 weeks to complete the earthworks for the scheme.”
On an average day, the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester carries 23,500 vehicles. However numbers increase significantly in the summer, particularly at weekends.
The bridge ramparts have been constructed over the last month. If you use this stretch of the A303, you will have seen them. However the final phase, lifting the bridge into place, will cause more disruption in the short term. A 200-tonne crane will be used to lift a new bridge into place next month (13-16 May) as part of work to ensure the building of the scheme has minimal impact for road users and residents.
The A303 will be closed between the Hazlegrove and Podimore roundabouts for the weekend. That is from 10pm on Friday, 13 May, to 5am on Monday, 16 May. During the closures, “clearly signed diversions will be in place via the A359 and the A37.”
This will to enable bridge beams, decking and other infrastructure to be lifted into place at Steart Hill. Ideally plan your journey to avoid the area altogether if you can.