MAJOR roadworks are set to cause traffic mayhem in the city centre as a six week project to replace road joints on St Martin’s Way begins.
The project, which begins on February 17, is to replace the road joints of the viaduct which hold St Martin’s Way.
During the council funded scheme, a contraflow system will be in operation to allow each side of the Nicholas Street viaduct to be closed off in turn, so the new reinforced elastomeric joints can be installed.
This means one half of the viaduct will be closed while the other half carries traffic in single file from each direction.
The old joints were installed in the 1970s and are well beyond their design life and in a poor condition.
Their purpose is to allow the bridge to expand and contract due to changes in temperature, withstand high volumes of traffic, and prevent water from leaking below. Water can now be found on the bridge bearings and in the inspection chambers.
Cllr Lynn Riley, executive member for localities, said the work is necessary despite the disruption. She said: “Electronic message boards have been put in place to warn drivers the scheme is taking place and there will be traffic hold- ups. We apologise for this but it is imperative work is carried out now because, over the past 10 years, repairs on the joints have taken place at an increasing frequency.
“Given the huge volume of traffic using the Nicholas Street viaduct, we have decided to carry out repairs now so they will be completed before the start of the spring events programme and races season.”
The viaduct carries St Martin’s Way over roads, the canal and the West Coast Main Line Railway.
City Walls Road will close on February 17 at its junction with St Martin’s Way, with access to properties and emergency vehicles maintained from Watergate Street.