The new 'half hamburger' roundabout at the busy Chowns Mill junction opened to motorists this morning (Monday).
The junction, where the A45 meets the A6 near Higham Ferrers, is being redesigned by National Highways, formerly known Highways England, in a £24m scheme to ease traffic delays and congestion.
Key to the design is the ‘half hamburger’ roundabout which takes the A6 bypass and the A5028 approaches away from the main A45 dual carriageway.
Workers got the traffic lights up and running and the new layout ready to open by 4.15am today, with drivers able to use the new stretch of the A45 central carriageway.
National Highways project manager, Dean Holloway, said: “Today marks a major milestone in this much-needed improvements scheme and we are very excited to see the new roundabout in action and drivers using the new stretch of carriageway.
“When all the works are complete local businesses, communities and road users will be able to enjoy smoother, safer and more reliable journeys without much of the congestion they endured before.
“Of course we appreciate that all roadworks can be disruptive and we are very grateful to people for their patience while we carry out these major improvements which will bring huge benefits for us all.”
To ensure the safety of workers and road users, the south half of the roundabout was closed from 8pm on Friday until 4.15am today (Monday) while the necessary resurfacing works were carried out and the traffic lights installed and tested.
The pedestrian crossing is not yet in use and people are advised to continue to use the free 24/7 shuttle bus.
The scheme remains on track to be completed by winter 2021/2022.