MOTORISTS rejoice! The final phase of a major Southampton reconstruction scheme is set to start later this week – more than seven days ahead of schedule.

The £8.3 million Millbrook Roundabout work, which started on October 1 last year, has complicated the morning commute for thousands of city residents, with many of the more than 30,000 drivers that use it every day having to find alternative routes to their destinations.

Nevertheless, Southampton City Council has announced that work has progressed quicker than originally estimated, due to “favourable weather conditions and good planning”. Phase four work will start on Saturday, February 23.

This phase will take up to six weeks, with a completion date earmarked for April 7.

The council says that this final phase will require the closure of the southwest section of the roundabout and the northbound section of First Avenue up to the entrance to the Household Waste and Recycling Centre.

Millbrook flyover will continue to remain fully open throughout the works.

As well as this, the entrance to Dock Gate 20 is now open for the first time since the project started.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, the authority’s transport boss, said: “We are now entering the final stages of this major reconstruction project ahead of schedule.

“I’d like to thank road users for their patience while our crews work hard to complete this essential work.

“We’re investing more than ever before in the city transport system to ensure it is fit for the future.”

As previously reported, the improvements include a new road surface, updated traffic signals, and a dedicated two-way cycle route.

Costing £8.3 million, the majority of the scheme’s cost, £5 million, has come from from the Department for Transport, with Southampton City Council contributing £3.3 million to meet the total cost of the scheme.