Residents across Monmouthshire are likely to suffer delays as roadworks get underway on the Gibraltar Tunnels this month.
The tunnels, which provide one of the main and most used routes in and out of Monmouth, will undergo essential maintenance starting at 8pm on Saturday 12th October until 6am on Wednesday 16th October.
The maintenance itself will be carried out by the South Wales Trunk Road Agency, the group responsible for managing the road network in South Wales on behalf of the Welsh Assembly.
The roadworks will take place across both of the tunnels with traffic flow arrangements put in place to allow vehicles through as the works go ahead.
During the entire closure period all wide load vehicles will be forced to use the M5 and M4 to enter and exit south Wales.
Electronic and hard signage will be used on the M4, A465, A40 and the A449 advising motorists to plan ahead and expect delays in Monmouth during these dates.
As the A40 at Monmouth is such an essential and widely used road, it can be expected that this maintenance may cause substantial delays and frustrations for drivers.
Drivers who travel through the tunnels on a regular basis will be aware of the significant tailbacks which can occur.
Last month saw a collision at the Monmouth traffic lights on the northbound side of the carriageway involving a white Honda Civic and a blue Volvo C30. While there were no serious injuries, one lane had to be closed off to deal with the collision, causing tailbacks nearly as far back as Raglan and delays for several hours.
During the rush hours around school and work times, or during sunny weekends, southbound traffic on the dual carriage can already be quite problematic for residents of Wyesham trying to make it across the Wye Bridge. Because vehicles have to slow down to make the left hand turn, traffic flow is often hindered and tailbacks will often be seen going beyond the Dixton roundabout for several miles. As a result of these works there are concerns that residents and road users might suffer through more delays than they’re used to.