THE closed section of Merlin Way which allows access to the A419 could be open next month.

The stretch of road from the end of Kingfisher Drive to the dual carriageway has been shut in both directions since August 16 as part of the White Hart roundabout roadworks.

It was later revealed the major reconstruction work has been delayed by a month – meaning the initial 12-week closure will be extended into December – but Merlin Way could be in use again sooner than that.

An update was shared by the Ridgeway Ward Facebook page, which is run by Swindon Borough Council deputy leader Gary Sumner.

He wrote: “For information, we are optimistic that Merlin Way access to A419 will reopen later in October – subject to waterproofing works now being carried out on the bridge and utility work.

“Work is under way on the Merlin Way bridge and we hope to see that section of road reopened later in October. 

“I hope that helps and it makes the current diversion shorter for many residents.”

The council said contractors have been working 12-hour shifts, six days a week on the £30m improvement project, carrying out work on the bridge, the roundabout and Merlin Way itself. 

Scaffolding was erected on the south side of the bridge and the bridge deck was water tested and reinforcement work will be taking place there this week. 

The White Hart roundabout itself has undergone full depth reconstruction and 65 per cent of the necessary excavation work has been completed and 15 per cent of the concrete base has been laid. Traffic signs have also been installed. 

Workers will continue with concrete surfacing of the roundabout and will be installing streetlighting power supply ducting. Merlin Way also had a concrete base laid. 

The only traffic currently able to use the junction is emergency service vehicles and traffic joining the A420 eastbound, toward Oxford from the A419 southbound, or traffic coming off the A420 from Oxford heading south on the A419. 

The unscheduled extra work to keep the road stable will add £2.6m to the council's £30m bill.