THE final phase of a 15-week engineering project along one of Dorset's busiest dual carriageways starts on Monday.

Roadworks on the A35 Upton Bypass will move into the central reservation, closing one lane each side of the highway.

From Monday, engineers will cone off the outside lane of the eastbound carriageway, from the Bakers Arms roundabout to the A350 Blandford Road junction, near Poole.

Workers will also close the outside lane of the Westbound carriageway from Policeman's Lane Bridge to the Bakers Arms.

County Hall says work will take place within restricted hours, with cones being “walked out” at 9am and back in at 3.45pm.

There will also be night time closures of the Westbound carriageway, between 7pm and 6am, Monday to Friday, during the weeks starting March 11 and March 18.

Dorset County Council highways and transportation cabinet member Cllr Peter Finney said: “We expect this final phase of work to take around six weeks to complete, which unfortunately takes us through the Easter school holidays.

“We will be removing all traffic cones during the Easter weekend from lunchtime on Thursday, March 28, until after rush hour on Tuesday, April 2, and we hope that this will allow residents and visitors to enjoy local attractions without additional delays.”

These latest lane closures are to facilitate continuing work to strengthen Policeman's Lane Bridge and to enable engineers to carry out central reservation maintenance, including replacing crusted barriers, upgrading drainage and clearing vegetation.

Cllr Finney said: “Drivers have helped us greatly by finding alternative routes where possible, which has kept congestion to a minimum.”