The promenade in Douglas will open to two-way traffic three months earlier than expected.
Since July, both the Summerhill and Broadway junctions have been closed, with one-way along the whole length of the Promenade.
It was planned to reopen the junctions at Summerhill and Broadway on 8 September to provide two-way traffic between the two junctions; the southern half of the promenade was to stay one-way until December.
Following positive consultation and discussions with businesses, the project team have worked with the contractor, Auldyn Construction, to reinstate two-way traffic.
In order to facilitate this change, the Broadway junction will remain closed until the end of October. Businesses agreed that having two-way traffic flow along the full length of the Promenade would give much better access than opening Broadway. The Summerhill junction will open on time on 8 September. This will allow traffic to travel south on the promenade either down Summerhill Road or along King Edward Road.
As traffic from the north will no longer be concentrated on Glencrutchery Road, Governor’s Dip will return to its original layout on 8 September. The changes in the diversion routes will also see the removal of the temporary bus/bike lane at St Ninians.
This means that from 8 September, two-way traffic will be provided along the full length of the Promenade and that the diversion route will return to normal. Detailed drawings of the key junctions are available to view online at www.myprom.im.
The Loch Promenade walkway will continue to be used for vehicles with additional traffic and pedestrian barriers in place. The full length of the promenade will continue to be subject to a 20mph speed limit. Exit from the walkway will be at the Snack Shack café (formerly the TT café) just to the north of the Bottleneck car park.
Pedestrian access will be maintained along the promenade walkway with the exception of a short section on Harris Promenade, where a pedestrian diversion route will run in front of the Villa Marina.
Traffic lights will also be in place, for a distance of approximately 120 metres, between Castle Mona Avenue and The Esplanade.
Disabled parking and loading bays on the walkway will remain, and more parking will become available on the northern end.
Traffic will continue to access the promenade via Victoria Street for the foreseeable future.
As a further benefit, these changes will allow Auldyn Construction the opportunity to complete the works at the Broadway junction, including the decommissioning of the old 400mm cast iron gas main, in a more efficient manner. As the junction will now stay closed when it was going to reopen to traffic, albeit under four-way traffic light control, the construction of the new Broadway junction will be completed in its entirety and will be opened to traffic by the end October 2020.
Church Road Marina is unaffected by these changes and will reopen as planned in mid-November 2020.
Tim Baker MHK, Minister for the Department of Infrastructure said:
‘We are delighted that Summerhill will reopen next week. We have listened to the businesses and residents and are confident that, by reinstating the two-way traffic much earlier than planned, we will make life much easier for them all.’
‘While opening Broadway is important, the benefit of reinstating two-way traffic flow along the whole of Promenade was considered much more significant. We will continue to monitor all traffic management whilst progressing with the programme.’
‘The contractor and the Department continue to make good progress on the refurbishment scheme, but we are being flexible in our approach to making changes to traffic management if it provides support for businesses and residents who live and work along the promenade.’