New A46 widening plan road in Nottinghamshire opens

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A new section of road which is part of a £350m project to widen the A46 in Nottinghamshire, has opened.

A 3.5-mile (5.63km) dual carriageway has been built between Cropwell Butler and Car Colston, part of the A46 Newark to Widmerpool improvement project.

The Highways Agency hopes the completed 17-mile (28km) dual carriageway will reduce congestion and provide a new fast link between the A1 and M1.

Construction work started in June 2009 and is due to finish next summer.

The A46 between Widmerpool and Newark, one of Nottinghamshire's most congested roads, carries between 16,200 and 25,300 vehicles a day, of which up to 15% are heavy goods vehicles.

'Pleasant experience'

Senior project manager Geoff Bethel said: "Not only will it be the first time the new A46 has operated as a dual carriageway, it also means we will be segregating A46 through traffic from road users at the A52 and A6097 junctions.

"So the A46 traffic will go over the top of Saxondale and that should improve journey times, reduce congestion and local traffic should also gain from this change."

The multi-million pound project to convert the stretch of the A46 into a dual carriageway came after years of campaigning by road safety groups. They said the road had become an accident and congestion blackspot.

Mr Bethel said: "We had a higher than average accident problem on this road and there's been delays.

"When the new dual carriageway is fully completed it will remove congestion and make a much more pleasant experience for motorist on the A46."

At the same time traffic is moved onto the new section of road, the southbound slip road from the new A46 onto the old one at Tenman Lane, East Bridgford, will be closed until April 2012 to allow a new roundabout to be built.

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