Major infrastructure investment at Blackwater West Junction finishes on time

Posted on Thursday 21 May 2020

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, BCP Council and Dorset Council are pleased to announce that the major improvement works at the B3073 Blackwater West Junction have been completed on time and on budget.

The nine-month long scheme was funded through Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Deal* and forms part of the Bournemouth International Growth Programme aimed at facilitating better access into and around Bournemouth Airport and stimulating economic growth across the county.

The works, delivered by BCP Council and Dorset Council, started in July 2019 and have focused on easing congestion, improving traffic flow and connectivity and increasing journey time reliability at the busy Blackwater West junction on the A338/B3073.  The works included:

  • Improvements to the A338 off slip
  • The construction of a new and more efficient A338 on slip
  • Increased junction capacity by widening the road on both sides to create an additional lane
  • Installation of new islands and traffic lights
  • Improved pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities
  • Three-metre-wide cycle and footpath facility improvements on the B3073
  • Resurfacing the whole junction
  • Installation of a noise fence and landscaping

This was the final scheme in a series of £11.2 million** works at Blackwater Junction on the A338 and B3073.

Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“We’re delighted that the improvements at Blackwater Junction West have completed on time, especially given the challenging COVID-19 environment the construction sector is working under.  The BIG Programme is in its penultimate year and this phase of work is an important milestone achievement in the programme that is improving transport links, easing congestion and supporting employment around Bournemouth Airport.  Continuing to deliver important infrastructure improvements in Bournemouth that benefit Dorset’s wider economy and business community are critical, now more so than ever before.”

Councillor Andy Hadley, BCP Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure said:

“Marking the end of a series of major infrastructure investment schemes in the local area, I am pleased to see these improvements completed on time and on budget. I am also impressed by the ability of Hanson Contracting to meet the challenges presented by COVID19 and adapt their construction methods without impacting or delaying the project completion date.’’

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said:

“My thanks goes to everyone on the project team for keeping the improvements on track during these exceptional times, and adapting working methods to ensure the safety of the construction workforce. I’m incredibly proud of the successful partnership working we have achieved throughout the BIG Programme.”

The Blackwater Junction West improvements were completed on time and on budget according to COVID-19 social distancing measures.  They are testament to successful partnership working between Dorset LEP, BCP Council, Dorset Council and Hanson Contracting.

 A total of **£11,279,606 (£10,300,000 Dorset LEP growth deal funding plus £979,606 matchfunding) has been invested in improvements at the A338/B3073 Blackwater Junction.  Works included:

  • an extended on slip and merge lane from Blackwater Junction to Cooper Dean roundabout
  • improvements to the on slip onto the A338 southbound from the B3073 at Blackwater East Junction
  • improvements to the off slip from the A338 southbound to Cooper Dean roundabout
  • improvements to the off slip from the A338 northbound on to the B3073 at Blackwater West Junction
  • pier protection works to the B3073 bridge and widening of the bridge over the River Stour to accommodate an additional lane

**Launched in January 2016, the BIG Programme is a major economic growth plan focused on employment and development around Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields.  Over seven years a series of transport and infrastructure investments will:

  • Transform accessibility to and around Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields through extensive transport improvements;
  • Release up to 60 hectares of prime, flexible employment land for high-quality new business premises at Aviation Business Park;
  • Provide the single largest employment opportunity in the southeast Dorset conurbation with the potential to create up to 10,000 new highly skilled jobs over the next decade;
  • Generate up to £500 million of GVA into the area;
  • Deliver around 350 new homes of which up to 50 per cent are affordable;
  • Deliver increased broadband capacity to Bournemouth Airport and Aviation Business Park;
  • Develop a new approach to improve skills and employee development, better tailoring it to the needs of key business sectors (aerospace, aviation, advanced manufacturing, digital media, marine, defence and financial services). 

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is overseeing the BIG Programme in collaboration with BCP Council and Dorset Council.

* £45,200,000 has been allocated to fund the BIG Programme from the £98.5 million funding secured by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s ‘Growth Deals’.  

 “Local Growth Fund”

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Some additional key facts:

There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England.

The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.

LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.