THE long-awaited work to improve the notorious stretch of the A57 at Todwick will begin next month, it has been announced.
Ringway Infrastructure Services will begin work on the £14.7million scheme to improve the one-mile stretch of road on 10th September.
The plans will see the A57 transformed into a dual carriageway from junction 31 of the M1 to the Todwick Crossroads, which will be replaced by a roundabout and a new speed limit introduced. Drivers will no longer be able to turn right into Goosecarr Lane.
Archaeology and ecology surveys of the site are currently taking place with construction work beginning next month.
Motorists are being warned that although a temporary reduced speed limit will operate on the A57 during the works, Rotherham Council has stressed that there will be no need to actually close the A57 itself.
Coun Gerald Smith, cabinet member for regeneration and development for Rotherham Council, said he will be delighted to see the work begin.
He said: “It has been a long and very frustrating process over the years but we will finally see the work start on this much-needed scheme in September.”
“This road carries high levels of traffic so it needs to be as safe as possible but it has been troubled by road safety and congestion problems for years.”
“It is also vital for the continued regeneration within the Dinnington area.”
Todwick Road will be closed at a date to be announced later when it is realigned to the proposed new roundabout at Todwick crossroads. Access to properties in the immediate vicinity will be maintained.
There will be no access to Todwick Crossroads from Kiveton Lane at certain times when this route is also realigned, although traffic will still be able to turn from Todwick Crossroads into Kiveton Lane.
The exact timing of this part of the work will also be announced later.
As works progress on the scheme traffic will gradually be moved to the new sections of carriageway as they are completed.
By early 2014, the new route will be expected to be open to traffic - bringing to an end a long saga to get the road improved. It comes more than a decade after the Guardian launched a campaign to sort out the stretch.
The road has seen more than 100 accidents during this time, claiming the lives of 12 people and injuring 170 others, including six killed by drink driver Peter Noble in July 2000.
In a long-standing battle by campaigners to deliver major road improvements, the Government announced its decision to back a scheme earlier this year following a public inquiry last October.
During the inquiry one of the major features campaigners fought for was to retain the right turn into Goosecarr Lane.