Towcester Bypass to be abandoned in favour of tunnel scheme
|Author: Avril Primo||Published: 1st April 2020 02:27|
Artists impression of the northbound A5 tunnel
As the Corvid19 lockdown continues not only across the world but in Towcester too a new norm seems to be emerging.
However quietly under the radar news of Towcester’s relief road the substitute for the long awaited bypass for South Northamptonshire’s market town is to be scrapped with immedate effect.
AboutMyArea/NN12 with some time on their hands has managed to do some digging and has unveiled an extraordinary plan to abandon building the bypass even though there has been wood clearing at the junction of the A5 trunk road and Cowpastures Lane near Heathencote for what was to be the new roundabout.
AboutMyArea/NN12 can reveal that HS2 tunnelling technology is be used with the entrance to the new twin tunnel under Towcester to start near Cuttle Mill and continue in a northerly direction to break the surface again near the dangerous Northampton Road Hulcote Road junction with the A43 where a new roundabout will be built.
This extraordinary development that has largely not been noticed is set to start in the next few weeks.
A spokesman for civil engineering tunnelling specialists contracted to HS2, Avril Primo said, “With delays to HS2 at the moment, we have offered to build this twin tunnel in relatively short order for Highways England - with machinery similar to the type used on the Channel Tunnel only more modern, much smaller and with greater efficiency and speed.
"The plan is to construct two cores - one northbound, one southbound with six crossover points for emergencies and maintenance.
“The finished scheme will carry all traffic heading north to a new A43 roundabout.
"Our surveys are complete and the tunnelling work is expected to start in early April and finish by the end of June 2020, works on the roundabouts of course will take longer and may need to be held up until after the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
“The work will continue around the clock with the machines running in a semi automatic mode, there will be many lorry movements to remove the waste but the plan is to tunnel North to South with both cores being dug simultaneously.
“The agreed plan is to get as much of this work done during the lock-down where vehicle movements are greatly reduced and this will speed the works and of course significantly reduce the impact of the works on the community.
"The waste will be taken away on the A43 by lorry.
“The cost of the works is being taken up by HS2, this will be the last high speed tunnelling test before work in the Chilterns commences in 2021.”
AboutMyArea/NN12 understands that the necessary legalisation is in place but comments can be made on the planning application until noon today.