A section of the Target Junction in Reading town centre will close for a number of ays from Monday 21 February to enable essential repairs to significant defects on the road surface.
The St Mary’s Butts and Broad Street arms of the busy 4-way junction will be completely closed to buses and all vehicles in both directions from 7.30am on 21 February. This is to allow for the relaying of granite cobblestones and kerbs which have been damaged after a number of years of carrying heavy traffic.
The council’s Highways Team will use a specialist high performance bedding mortar and a specialist jointing compound which requires curing time to achieve full strength prior to the area again carrying traffic. It means the junction has to remain closed whilst this important curing period takes place.
Usual working hours are being brought forward to start at 7.30am Monday to Friday, until 4pm. Work will continue into the weekend if required in order to complete the works as quickly as possible and to minimise disruption at the important junction.
While the traffic order allows for a closure until Sunday 27 February, it is currently expected that the works can be completed quicker.
The western and northern arms of the junction - at the Oxford Road and West Street – will remain fully open to traffic for the duration of this phase of work. They will need to be temporarily closed at a later stage in the year to fully complete the repair works.
Target Junction is a major interchange for bus passengers in Reading and many buses from across the town converge at the junction and pass through it every day. Reading Buses has welcomed the repair works as the damaged road surface is impacting on its fleet.
Short diversions for buses which usually run through St Mary’s Butts and through the Target Junction will be in place and passengers are being asked to familiarise themselves with changes in bus stop locations as follows:
For buses that would normally leave town centre from St Marys Butts - Jet Black 1, Lime 2, Royal Blue 33, Yellow 26 - passengers can board at CX In Cheapside/Oxford Road.
The council has also been working with Reading UK’s Business Improvement District to help notify local businesses near to the junction which may be affected. The council will endeavour to accommodate access to businesses as far as is safely possible within the scope of the works.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“Target Junction carries many hundreds of buses every day, as well as heavy goods vehicles delivering into and out of the town centre, so it is no surprise that the surface has deteriorated significantly over the years. Work to patch up the junction has taken place previously, but we are now at the point where it is essential that a full repair takes place in the interests of the safety of all road users.
“The repair process means that a closure over a number of days is unavoidable. However, the council’s team is confident that the work can be completed before the weekend depending on the weather, and working hours have been extended to try to ensure that the job does not spill over into the following working week.
“This is one of Reading’s most important town centre junctions. We know this work will cause some considerable disruption over the week of February 21. I would therefore urge all bus passengers, and other road users who visit the town centre, to pay attention to the temporary diversion routes which are being put in place. We thank everyone for their patience, particularly local businesses, whilst this important work takes place.”