A rolling programme of work to upgrade the traffic signals at Coppins Bridge in Newport is to begin next week.
The work being undertaken by Island Roads on behalf of the Isle of Wight Council, will see all the signals at Coppins Bridge upgraded to include the latest ‘intelligent technology’ to make them more reliable and energy efficient, and to improve remote access to enable responses to changes in traffic volumes and faster fault reporting.
The programme of work will also see four pedestrian crossings in the area upgraded to incorporate the latest LED, low-energy technology.
The crossing between the Medina Way slip road and Fairlee Road will be upgraded from a ‘Pelican’ to a ‘Puffin’ crossing which includes smart technology that automatically extends crossing times for slower pedestrians and does not halt traffic when nobody is using it. The remaining crossings, which are already Puffin crossings, will also be upgraded to run on a lower voltage to improve energy efficiency.
The programme will be undertaken either side of Christmas to ensure the project does not impact on the main festive shopping period and will involve seven signal sites undertaken over five phases, to further reduce disruption.
Much of the programme will be undertaken overnight to help limit disruption and with temporary traffic lights where required during the daytime. Where necessary these will be manually controlled to aid traffic flow.
Some lane or road closures will be necessary during some of the more complex, aspects of the programme to complete the work and during these times a signed diversion will be in place.
The schemes are the last phase of a programme under the Highways PFI to upgrade all of the Island’s traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.
It was initially scheduled to be undertaken in 2019 but postponed, in agreement with the Isle of Wight Council, so as not to coincide either with the St Mary’s junction improvement or the St George’s Way widening schemes.
Work will begin on 8 November with an upgrade of the set of lights at the junction of St George’s Way and Coppins Bridge. While this is done there will be temporary signals in place, operated manually to ensure traffic is kept moving. On completion, attention will then shift to upgrading the Barton Road/High Street pedestrian crossing. The work will then cease for the festive period between Monday 6 December 2021 and Friday 7 January 2022 and will resume again with the final phases from Monday 10 January, 2022. Prior to this phase starting more communications will be issued highlighting the traffic arrangements to enable people to plan their journeys. The programme will be completed in its entirety by Friday 11 March 2022.
“Clearly Coppins Bridge is an extremely busy location and the need to minimise disruption has been foremost in our planning with the Isle of Wight Council,” said Keith Gourlay, Island Roads construction manager.
“There will be periods when alternative traffic arrangements will be necessary, but we are doing all we can to minimise impact including much night working and, crucially, ceasing work altogether in the run up to and over the Christmas period.
“But as all Islanders know, this is a very busy junction and we hope residents will appreciate the need to ensure the traffic signals are the most efficient, safe and effective.
“We will be working closely in the coming weeks with local businesses to discuss the arrangements around the works taking place in the New Year, particularly those in the High Street to assist with any access requirements for deliveries.
“We would like to thank residents and businesses in advance for their understanding and co-operation.”