Construction begins on the A354 Portland Beach Road

Motorists traveling between Weymouth and Portland remember a major roadwork program that begins today and will cause delays – until spring.

Workers will begin digging the A354 Portland Beach Road for a new power cable replacement project, the first phase of which will take four months.

It is warned that journeys will take longer as the temporary lights are on to control traffic, and they will be on all day and night.

The Echo understands that work will actually start during the day after this morning’s rush hour.

Construction begins today in the Hamm Beach roundabout area and will move to Wyke Regis in the coming weeks.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), which is carrying out the work, said all roads will remain open throughout the cable installation.

For the safety of road users and staff, a traffic management program has been agreed with Dorset County Council Road Officers and will see temporary traffic lights installed at the start and finish of each short section of road under construction as crews progress along the road.

SSEN is spending £ 2.6million on the 7km electrical cable replacement project that powers Portland.

When completed, the new cables will make the local network “more robust and resilient and minimize the risk of power outages for customers,” the company said.

The first phase by April is to install new cable along Portland Beach Road and in parts of Weymouth.

There will then be a summer break so as not to disrupt the nesting of wildlife along Chesil Beach before the workers return in September to remove the old cable that runs along the beach.

The SSEN said crews will be working sections of Portland Beach Road starting today for about five weeks before heading to Wyke.

SSEN’s Strategic Investment Project Manager Miles Crossley said: “As with any work on public roads, there will be an element of inevitable disruption. We will do everything we can to keep this to a minimum. ”

Dorset County Council Cabinet Member for the Natural and Built Environment Cllr Daryl Turner said: By SSE, and this is the best time of year for such important work to be done on this very road frequented.

He added, “No one likes their trip being interrupted by road works, but utility devices and our highways need to be maintained. Please allow extra time to get to your destination and try to be patient.

DRIVERS are also facing blockages in other parts of the county in the coming weeks.

Work resumed today on the Upton A35 bypass towards Poole, with ‘slow’ lanes closed and temporary lower speed limits along the dual carriageway.

These restrictions will be in place for 14 weeks while engineers install concrete barriers to protect the piers of the A350 bridge. The work also includes improvements to the drainage to the west of the A35 and the replacement of the base of the A350 bridge.

Elsewhere, a Wessex Water project to replace pipelines under Dorchester Road, Upwey, will see temporary lights controlling traffic from Jan.24 to Feb.8.

Wessex Water continues work this week in the Preston / Sutton Poyntz area and SGN work continues on Wyke Road. As part of this work, SGN will establish connections on Boot Hill, meaning that temporary lights will control traffic from January 22 for up to two weeks.

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Sandy A. Greer

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