First look at jam-busting Chowns Mill scheme


WORK on a jam-busting ‘half hamburger island’ which will tackle queues at a busy A45/A6 junction is starting to take shape – as these new images released by Highways England show.

While complying with strict safeguarding measures due to the coronavirus pandemic, workers have been able to successfully complete the first phase of work on the Chowns Mill improvement scheme in the East Midlands.

The aerial image gives a bird’s eye view of the progress made and shows where the top section of the hamburger island will be now the land has been cleared.

In phase one, narrow lanes have been established on the A45 dual carriageway to keep two lanes of traffic moving. 

The narrow lanes also create the space for workers to safely carry out more major construction works during the day and reduce the number of road closures needed, minimising disruption to road users and residents.

Highways England is investing £24m to increase capacity at Chowns Mill which experiences severe congestion due to the amount of traffic on the A45 and A6, as well as local traffic accessing Higham Ferrers and Rushden.

The improvements will see the junction redesigned in the half hamburger layout including a new link road connecting the A6 South and A5028 with the existing roundabout.

All approaching roads will also be widened to provide extra lanes and to accommodate more vehicles.

Phase two will see the focus switch to drainage work, including installing large pipes, and the earthworks for the construction of the new road and embankments.

Highways England Project Manager Dean Holloway said: “I am delighted that we have now completed phase one of this scheme which will ultimately make journeys much smoother for drivers and relieve the congestion which has plagued communities and local businesses.

“We appreciate that roadworks can cause disruption for drivers and residents and do always strive to get schemes completed as quickly as possible. 

“We are grateful to people for their understanding while we carry out this important work.”