A1(M) entry slip road set to reopen


- Credit: Archant

A MAJOR motorway junction which has seen closures for the past four months will fully reopen next week.

The southbound A1(M) entry road at the Letchworth Gate junction roundabout has seen lane closures to its slip road since December, causing major delays in and around the area.

The Highways Agency closed one lane on the junction slip road after a number of collisions damaged a safety barrier, forcing motorists at Letchworth Gate to follow a diversion to the A505 eastbound to the next roundabout, where they then had to head back towards the A1(M) and join from the A505 slip road.

At the time of the closure the agency said the junction would remain partially shut for three weeks while investigation work was carried out.

Work on the junction did not begin until March, during which time access to the A1(M) southbound was completely blocked off as both lanes on the slip road were closed to install signing, road markings and to alter one of the slip roads. The Highways Agency had hoped to lift the closure in time for the Easter bank holiday weekend, but said that the sub-zero temperatures and snow meant that the resurfacing on the slip road had to be postponed, causing further delays.

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A spokesman for the agency said: “The Highways Agency has replaced the badly damaged section of safety barrier and provided a new layout to the slip road. “The slip road (Junction 9 Letchworth) is now open, with coning on the hatched area to assist drivers to adjust to the new road alignment.

“There is then further overnight slip road closures on April 22 to lay the high friction surfacing. The planned completion date is April 25.”

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North Herts District Council member Gary Grindal said: “Although I am pleased the road will be reopened, I want to know what they have found from their investigation work and what changes they have made to make the road safer. The closure has been a total nightmare for everyone.”

The agency confirmed between January 1 2007 and September 30 2012, there were a total of nine personal injury collisions recorded by Hertfordshire Police, relating to the slip road. One of these collisions involved serious injuries.

In the past three years, the Highways Agency said there had been more than 30 damage only incidents where vehicles have hit the safety barrier, causing the barrier foundations to become unstable.

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