Critical works to Woodhouse Tunnel given go ahead
Council chiefs have given the go ahead to major maintenance and strengthening works to Woodhouse Tunnel on the Leeds Inner Ring Road (IRR).
The work is part of an essential maintenance scheme, which was developed for three key structures on the IRR, all in urgent need of structural repair and strengthening. The Department for Transport has given a commitment to fund up to a maximum of £16.344 million to support the scheme, with the remaining £8.616 million to be funded by Leeds City Council, the Local Transport Plan Fund, The University of Leeds and Leeds NHS Trust.
Woodhouse Tunnel is the final and largest structure included in the scheme, with works to New York Flyover and Lovell Park Bridge now complete.
The proposed works are programmed to start at the end of July to take advantage of the reduced volume of traffic during the summer holiday period. This coincides with the opening of Leeds Arena and appropriate arrangements will be put in place to make sure that the works do not have an adverse effect on traffic management arrangements when events are taking place. Work will be suspended completely when Tour de France comes to the city in July 2014.
A traffic management strategy will be used to minimise disruption to motorists, with the vast majority of work being carried out through the night. Occasional weekend closures will be notified in advance. Work is expected to be completed in 2016.
Councillor Richard Lewis, executive board member for development and the economy said:
"The Leeds Inner Ring Road is our most important strategic road and a massive asset to the city and the wider city region, so it is vital that it is kept in good repair.
"With more than 80,000 vehicles travelling through Woodhouse Tunnel every day, it is inevitable that there will be some disruption to traffic whilst this maintenance and strengthening work takes place.
“However, we will keep this to a minimum by carrying out the majority of the work during the night, and I’m sure that commuters and business drivers will understand that this work is necessary to ensure that Leeds Inner Ring Road can continue to play its crucial role in keeping the city moving for many decades to come.”
The A58M IRR Essential Maintenance Scheme was developed in 2011, including strengthening and repair work on three of the key structures on the IRR. These were New York Flyover, Lovell Park Bridge and Woodhouse Tunnel. The £25 million scheme was submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport in a funding bid and in December 2011 was granted ‘programme entry’ status.
For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578