Work starts today on a major new project designed to help cut crippling congestion on the Mancunian Way.
The city centre flyover is often gridlocked with heavy tailbacks combined with the ongoing Regent Road works, which are due to end later this month.
Council bosses have now announced the huge roundabout under the Mancunian Way linking Princess Road out to Hulme and Medlock Street into the city centre will be remodelled into two separate roads.
The area was described by highways chiefs as a key junction that often suffers from congestion and delays during rush-hours.
Under the project, the roundabout will become two branching spur roads allowing direct access to the city centre and the Mancunian Way from Princess Road and the Parkway.
The council said ‘pre-works’ would start today at the site.
A spokesman said: “This will consist of site clearance, compound set up and removal of street furniture.
“Traffic management will be localised to the work area and will cause minimal disruption.”
The old subways and underpasses at the roundabout will also be replaced, with ‘new, safer access’ for cyclist and pedestrians promised, and the slip roads on and off the Mancunian Way will be widenned.
The Princess Road and Medlock Street roundabout improvement scheme is set to start in earnest in late September – after the end of the notorious £15m Regent Road works, possibly by August 20.
The council added: “We want to carry out roadworks on Princess Road and Medlock Street roundabout – two key junctions – to help improve and reduce congestion along the Mancunian Way.
“There’s currently a lot of congestion at these junctions, which causes long delays, especially at peak travel times.”
Landscaping and tree planting will also feature.
Contractors will be on site from August 12 to start the pre-works, the council said.
‘Minimal’ tree felling will begin, but the council said three new trees would be planted for every one felled, with work not starting in earnest until the end of the bird nesting season in September.
The statement on the council website added: “While these works take place, traffic management will be used to create ‘localised safety zones’ for the site workers.
“These areas will not affect travel at the roundabout.
“The main traffic management will not start until after the Regent Road scheme is complete, to ensure minimal travel disruption across the two schemes.”
“We plan to start the main works late-September 2019, and we will share the plans and an animated visualisation of the scheme once the details have been finalised.”
No exact date for the roundabout project to start has been confirmed.
The long-standing roadworks at the Salford end of the Mancunian Way are nearing completion, after having caused long delays for drivers for months.
Manchester and Salford Councils, who are behind the £15 million joint scheme, say barring extreme weather or other unforseen events, work on Regent Road itself will be complete and is set to re-open by Tuesday August 20.
However before it is completed a series of overnight closures will be put in place at key junctions along the stretch of the ring road up until then.
The contractor says due to the high volume of traffic and the room needed by workmen it cannot be done during the day and has to be done in the evening and overnight.
The entire scheme was plunged into crisis and work ground to a halt in March when former lead contractor, the Welsh firm Dawnus, went into administration.
However John Sisk and Son were appointed to replace them around a fortnight later and town hall chiefs have said they have made up time and this has had no impact on the planned finishing date.
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