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Whalebridge to be resurfaced... again
THE wrong kind of asphalt is being blamed for parts of the road surface needing to be ripped up at the Whalebridge junction, just eight months after it was opened.
The traffic artery, which was redesigned in December as part of the regeneration of the town centre, is being dug up for the second time.
The work is scheduled to be carried out tomorrow and the following two Sundays to minimise disruption to traffic.
Ian Piper, chief executive of Forward Swindon, said the relay was included in the original plan and budget.
“The surface that was put down at Christmas was a temporary finish,” he said.
“We'd always planned to put a special surface down which has anti-skid properties and will improve the safety of the junction for motorists and pedestrians.
“Unfortunately this particular special tarmac can't be laid at temperatures below five degrees so when the rest of the work was being completed we weren't able to lay that.
“We had to take the decision to put the temporary surface down and come back later in the year to put that special anti-skid surface down.”
Swindon Council leader Rod Bluh used Twitter to hit back at claims that the work was being carried out because the wrong tarmac had been laid down.
He wrote: “That misrepresents the situation. The right road surface couldn’t be put down at that time of year due to the temperature issues.”
However the news follows frustration at delays with another regeneration project and a succession of protracted roadworks in the town.
The improvement scheme at Swindon's railway station forecourt has missed its completion date with developers partly blaming the rain.
Contractor Britannia Construction, which started the work last September, originally hoped to finish in June – but that has slipped to next month.
Drivers also face more than a month of road misery with parts of County Road closing from Monday for gas works.
The Whalebridge junction, next to Jurys Inn in Fleming Way, has been reconfigured as part of the Union Square regeneration. The overall £4m scheme is intended to make it easier for people to walk between areas within the centre.
That is for example across Princes Street and Fleming Way, between the shops and Union Square and the theatre, without barriers.