VolkerFitzpatrick has completed works on the A27 East of Lewes scheme for National Highways. The £75m improvement works, in East Sussex, has transformed journeys on one of the South East’s most vital roads by reducing congestion, connecting communities and creating safer journeys for users.
The scheme started in July 2020 with the initial phase consisting of highway improvement works to Polegate bypass, Gainsborough Lane, Wilmington junction and Berwick Roundabout. Extra lanes were added, the layout of some junctions was changed and new lights and crossings were added to improve traffic flow and safety.
As well as improving the layout of key junctions and providing new crossing points, the biggest addition to safety has been a new 13km or nearly 9 miles, shared use path for walkers, cyclists and in some places, horse riders along the south side of the A27 between Firle and Polegate. The new path is a safe and sustainable way for local residents to visit various local attractions, including the South Downs National Park.
Three new ponds to prevent flooding during heavy rain have been created, and in total 130 new signs were installed, which include 37 signposts, 38 road signs and 55 bollards.
Significant environmental improvements have been made, including planting a total of 3,025 new trees along the route. Most of these trees were planted in new broadleaf woodlands, creating new habitats for many species from beetles to bats. The remaining trees have been planted in wet woodlands, creating habitats for frogs, toads, and rare birds such as siskins.
3,550 meters of shallow drainage channels, known as swales, which direct water from the road into pools before soaking away were also created. Not only do they prevent flooding on the road, but they also help local wildlife flourish across the route.
Deon Scholtz, Highways Director for VolkerFitzpatrick, said “We're pleased to have completed the improvement project, on behalf of National Highways. The improvements to the A27 have reduced congestion, connected communities, and created safer journeys for commuters.”
National Highways project lead, Cristina Bucur, said: “Our teams have been working incredibly hard to overcome challenges and deliver this project. The new path will improve links to the communities along A27, will improve access to South Downs National Park and provide an alternative and sustainable way of travel.”
The business engaged with nearby primary schools and the local community which included working with supply chain contractors from the surrounding area, providing employment opportunities over the course of the project as well as providing work experience placements and apprentices.
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