MAJOR roadworks involving resurfacing pavements and carriageways in Onchan start today (Monday).
The work will also involve replacing the traffic lights at the bottom of Avondale Road with a more modern system which will sense traffic volume and respond accordingly.
Highways director Richard Pearson said the new traffic lights would greatly improve traffic flow during busy periods, particularly when the Mountain Road is closed.
‘The current signals are what is known as “fixed time” and they are very antiquated,’ he said.
‘This means that whatever the flow of vehicles there is, they go through the same cycle of red and greens in the same timing gaps, so if there is a queue going into Douglas the cycle remains the same and the queue will remain the same or get longer. This happens whenever the Mountain Road closes.
‘The only way we can currently improve this is to turn them off and get the constabulary to man the junction.’
He said the new signals are to be vehicle actuated.
This means they use a detection system in the road so if traffic builds up, the lights can extend the duration of the green light in the appropriate direction.
Mr Pearson added the new lights are to be linked in with the pelican crossing between Avondale Road and the roundabout.
‘The current pelican crossing between the roundabout and the main junction is stand alone.
‘This cycle operates independently to the junction and so can also lead to a situation where the main junction is showing a green but the traffic still cannot move because it is held at the pelican crossing.
‘In future the two sets of signals will be linked and so they will work together to avoid the current inefficient situation,’ he said.
There will also be an extra pedestrian crossing built into the new traffic lights at the main junction.
The road will be resurfaced from the top of Summerhill to just after Church Road. Work will also be done on the top of Royal Avenue and the lower part of Avondale Road.
The first four week phase will require a road closure of Avondale Road between Stoney Road and Main Road, Onchan. Access to businesses and pedestrian access to all properties will be maintained.
A diversion will operate for traffic to the village shopping centres, with all local businesses open as usual. Buses will use a revised route along Bemahague Road.
The works will be suspended for the Manx Grand Prix and phase two will start on Monday, September 3.
As it is narrow, Main Road, between Avondale Road and Summerhill Road, will be closed for five weeks and traffic will be diverted via King Edward Road and local traffic along Avondale Road.
Subsequent phases will continue using temporary traffic lights and there will be some short night time closures to complete the final road surfacing towards the end of the project.
The scheme should finish by mid-December.
Total cost of the works is £880,000, most of this is in road resurfacing.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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