Bypass reopens after £4.5m surfacing scheme

Stoke Hammond bypass reopened in both directions at 7.30pm on Sunday (7 October) around 10 hours ahead of schedule and in time for Monday’s go-to-work traffic.

The A4146, which bypasses western Linslade and Stoke Hammond village, has undergone resurfacing in the past eight weeks, at a cost of £4.5 million.

Buckinghamshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member, Mark Shaw, said he was delighted with the work, which involved up to three surfacing teams on the five-mile dual carriageway.

“Spending £4.5m on this surfacing project confirms our commitment to invest in Buckinghamshire’s roads,” said Mark. “We’re making good progress in improving roads across the county, and we’re spending around £25m this year, but with little financial input from Government, our pace is slower than I would like. However, the Stoke Hammond bypass is a major step forward.”

During the eight-week project, the teams laid around 25,000 tonnes of surfacing material, over 140,000 square metres of road – the equivalent area of 13 football pitches.

The work involved removing the entire original surface course, which had a number of defects and, in areas where investigations found structural weakness, replacing some of the lower layers.

The new surface – hard-wearing hot rolled asphalt with chippings – is impermeable, and will seal the structure of the road and extend its useful life.

Some of the bypass soft verge areas have been stiffened using recycled ‘planings’ from the old surface, which will aid drainage.

While the bypass was closed, other teams took the opportunity to clear litter, maintain lighting and safety barriers, clean road signs, clear drains and central reservation debris, and cut back foliage.

Mark Shaw said: “This is Buckinghamshire’s biggest resurfacing scheme for many years, and my thanks go to the team who made it all happen – a great feat of planning and execution. My thanks, too, to those who normally use the bypass, for bearing with us! We have a great new road surface that will make journeys more comfortable.”