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A338 improvement works at Blackwater Junction East: Here’s what you need to know

Motorists using Blackwater Junction are being advised to plan ahead as of next week (4 September) when works to reduce traffic congestion in the area get underway.

Works to improve the footpath and cycleway facilities, as well as the drainage system have already started on the Christchurch side of the junction.

Backed by the Bournemouth International Growth Programme, and funded through Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s growth deal funding*, the works are part of a package of schemes to improve connectivity and enable better journey times within the town at key locations.

With significant queuing at the existing Blackwater Junction, during peak times motorists often experience delays extending on to the A338. The improvement works seek to alleviate the traffic congestion, improve journey times and ease traffic flow in and around Blackwater Junction.

Co-ordinated by Bournemouth Council working in partnership with Dorset County Council, the improvements at the east junction are expected to take around nine months to complete. The works will include re-configuring the east junction on the B3073 along with the construction of additional lanes.

As of next week, (4 September) motorists using Blackwater Junction are being advised to plan ahead, and sign up to the A338 travel blog at

Here is a roundup of how the works at Blackwater Junction will be carried out over the coming months:

 4 September

From 4 September there will be night works taking place with the closures of the slip roads for A338 southbound and near side lane on the A338 from 20:00hrs till 06:00hrs. Diversion signs will be in place.

From 11 September, there will be a lane closure in place on B3073 Westbound during off-peak hours from 9:30 til15:30 to enable the construction of the road widening on the north side. This will continue until the end of September.

 From the end of September

Works will take place on the west side of the junction and will involve the construction of a retaining wall to allow the widening of the road.  This is due to complete in November. There will be lane closure during off-peak hours from 9:30 til15:30 during this time.

 From November onwards

These works will take place on the B3073 westbound, river side of the junction, and are planned to start in November. This will involve the construction of a sheet pile retaining wall and will require 3-way temporary traffic signals to be used off-peak from 9:30 til15:30.

Later phases of the works to improve Blackwater Junction involve reconfiguration of the west junction, and the slip roads off and on to the A338 will also be improved.

Ian Kalra, Head of Transportation Services, said; “We know Blackwater Junction is a part of an important commuter route and there is never going to be an ideal time to carry out works on such a heavily used road.  During the works, we would encourage all motorists who use Blackwater Junction to plan their journeys by allowing extra time to travel, or take an alternative route.

“We would like to assure the travelling public we have developed the construction programme carefully to ensure that the works that have the most impact on traffic will be undertaken outside of peak travel times.”

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