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Department of Transport announces Major Highway Improvements at Brandish Corner 13 September 2006

The Department of Transport has announced that major highway improvement work will be undertaken at Brandish Corner on the A18 Mountain Road.

The work is scheduled to commence on Monday 18th September 2006 and it should be completed no later than Friday 15th December 2006. This timetable allows for the possibility of inclement weather, but the work could well be finished ahead of schedule if the weather does not impede progress. Once the highway improvements have been completed, the workforce will then concentrate on further enhancements to the surrounding area, which includes rebuilding the Manx sod hedges, creating the highway verges, and landscaping.

Major Highway Improvements at Brandish CornerBrandish Corner is a well known local landmark on one of the Island’s busiest primary routes to and from Ramsey and the north, carrying in excess of 3,500 vehicles per day. Statistics and data collected over the past three years have also confirmed that Brandish Corner has the worst accident record on the Island.

One of the Department’s core objectives is to make every effort to substantially reduce the number of road traffic accidents on the Island via its road safety campaigns and improvements to the highways. As such, the Department continually monitors the top 30 locations where accidents regularly occur on the Island. The data gathered allows the Department to devise and implement improvement schemes to help reduce the number of accidents.

Once it has been completed, the new corner at Brandish will look significantly different to the current layout - it will include a major alteration to the radius of the bend, slightly wider running carriageway, transition curves, and positive camber (called superelevation) similar to the new layout at Windy Corner. The Manx sod hedge on the inside of the new bend will be relocated some distance back away from the highway, and a new grass verge will be created to improve the forward stopping sight distance for motorists. Similarly, the old abandoned section of highway on the outside of the new bend will become a grass verge. So the completed scheme will have a more open aspect.

The construction programme allows the majority of the work to be built off the line of the existing bend but there will be temporary traffic signals in place for approximately 7 weeks so that the new section of road can be tied into the existing road at either side of the bend.

Jim Davidson, Schemes Manager for the Department of Transport comments,

“We recognise that traffic signals will cause some delays for motorists travelling to and from the north of the Island, but we took the view that installing the signals would be a much more preferable option than a full road closure. The only time there will be a requirement for full a road closure will be over one weekend around mid to late November so that the final wearing course can be applied to the road surface.”
“A traffic management plan will be activated for this short duration, including diversion signs at the Creg ny Baa and at Governors Bridge and Cronk Ny Mona to guide motorists through the diversion route to and from the Creg ny Baa for that particular weekend. Obviously we will work hard to keep the inconvenience to motorists to a minimum”.

Note: The Department is taking the earliest opportunity to commence the work following the completion of this year’s TT and Manx Grand Prix. The weather in September can still be fairly mild and dry so it has decided to take advantage of potentially better working conditions. From past experience the Department has found that it is not cost effective or productive to work on the Mountain Road in the depths of winter due to short daylight working hours and the likelihood of severe weather. Summary of the Works

Summary of the Works:

  • From Monday 18th September 2006, work will commence on site. The road will remain open to through traffic for most of the contract period, albeit with the use of traffic signals during working hours, and with 20mph speed restrictions in place.
  • The section of road between Creg ny Baa and Hillberry will only be closed for 2 days over a weekend towards the end of November. Road Closed signs and barriers will be placed at Creg ny Baa and Hillberry, and diversion signs will be erected at various locations.
  • The “off highway” works will continue on site beyond 15th December 2006 until the work is completed in February 2007.

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