NATIONAL Highways have released a comprehensive breakdown of dates and works in an information pack ahead of year long A31 improvements.

Preparatory work began in September, with main construction starting in January 2022. The road will be open to traffic in November 2022.

Late October 2021 to early December 2021

During this time, two eastbound lanes will be closed and the width of the lane closest to the central reservation on the westbound carriageway will be reduced.

From early October through to early November, works will include new sign installation, upgrading drainage and carrying out barrier work on the eastbound carriageway.

For worker safety, there will be lane closures on the eastbound carriageway of the A31 and access to the A31 from the Verwood eastbound slip road will be closed 24-hours a day.

Traffic wanting to join the eastbound carriageway from the Verwood junction will need to do so via the westbound carriageway and Ashley Heath roundabout.

Mid-November 2021

While the gantry close to the eastbound Ringwood exit slip is lifted out, a full closure of the eastbound and westbound carriageway is needed. This closure will be overnight, 8pm-6am, in mid-November for one night. A diversion will be in place.

Ringwood roundabout westbound slip road: Mid-November 2021 to November 2022

The slip road where traffic joins the westbound carriageway from the Ringwood roundabout will be closed for one year.

The distance between the slip road and the first bridge being removed does not provide enough space to safely get traffic into the contraflow, meaning the slip will stay closed through construction.

During the closure, a diversion route will be in place via the Poulner Hill junction.

Bridge replacement and road widening work: January 2022 to November 2022

The main construction work to replace the bridges and widen the A31 at Ringwood will start in January 2022, running until November 2022. This will see:

  • Replacing the bridges that take the westbound carriageway over the River Avon and Bickerley Millstream
  • Constructing a new third lane in the westbound carriageway, providing a dedicated lane for traffic joining from the Ringwood roundabout
  • Increasing the width of the slip road for traffic joining westbound from the Ringwood roundabout from one to two lanes
  • Upgrading the drainage on the main carriageway and slip roads
  • Improving facilities for walkers and cyclists in the local area and link with routes in and around the area

A contraflow will be in place from January 2022 to November 2022. This will see westbound traffic using two lanes of the eastbound carriageway and ensures two lanes flowing in both directions.

While the contraflow is in place, there will be free 24-hour recovery.