Motorway closure 'worth it in the long term'

4:50pm Thursday 7th February 2013

By Melanie Adams

THE DECISION to close a Hampshire motorway for three days will be worth it in the long run, according to motoring groups.

The AA describes the closure of the M27 eastbound between junctions four and five as mediocre pain in for the benefits the roadworks will bring.

The work will see the road resurfaced so that rain water drains from the road rather than collects in the middle, as it does currently after heavy downpours.

As reported yesterday, the closure will be in force from around 9pm on Friday, March 8, through to 5.30am on Monday, March 11.

It will be closed between junction 4, where it meets the M3, and junction 5 near Eastleigh, leaving motorists forced to take diversions through Eastleigh and Bassett.

Those travelling on the M27 eastbound are expected to be diverted onto the M3 up to junction 13 and then through Eastleigh, while the plan for those heading south on the M3 is to divert them onto the A33, along Bassett Green Road and Stoneham Way and back onto the M27 at junction 5.

Motorists heading to Southampton from further away will be urged to take the A3 instead of the M3.

Luke Bosdet, from the AA, said: “I think to be honest what they are doing is making the road safer and having just witnessed the wettest winter on record I think anybody who has had to deal with surface water over the last few months will understand why reducing surface water is an exceptionally good thing.

“When suddenly faced with a small lake in front of them on the road it makes drivers either try and avoid it or slow down, causing erratic driver behaviour, which is bad news for anybody behind them.

“This will be three days of mediocre pain for many months of much better road safety.”

The work will see the road resurfaced so that rain water drains from the road rather than collects in the middle, as it does currently after heavy downpours.

The work had been due to be completed at the end of last year but due to issues relating to the diversion routes the date was pushed back.

A Highways Agency spokesman said that alternatives to closing the eastbound carriageway completely, such as setting up a contraflow on the westbound side or narrowing lanes had been considered but that it would take longer for the work to be completed.

If weather is bad the work could be postponed until March 23, 24 and 25.

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