Six-week single lane closure of A1081 as DART bridge preparatory works begins

The A1081 westbound towards the M1
The A1081 westbound towards the M1

The six-week single lane closure of the A1081 westbound is now underway as work begins on the DART bridge.

Work began on the DART bridge on Monday, marking the beginning of a six week single lane closure westbound on the A1081, towards the M1.

This is to allow for planned works to prepare for the installation of the Direct Air-Rail Transit (DART) bridge in late November.

From 10pm to 5am, contractor VolkerFitzpatrick-Kieris closing the A19081 westbound from both the roundabout at Percival Way to the traffic lights at B653, and from the roundabout at Kimpton Road to the traffic lights at B653.

The aim of this work is to put in place a concrete safety barrier and realign the merge point reducing the width of the A1081 to one lane from the Holiday Inn roundabout so that, over the next six weeks, the necessary preparatory works to install the bridge can be carried out.

Vehicles coming from the airport using New Airport Way will no longer be able to join the A1081 simply by filtering in. They will have to stop and then join the road.

Traffic flow will be carefully monitored to see if it can be enhanced by the use of traffic lights at this newly created junction.

This lane closure will be in place for six weeks. Once the works have been completed, the A1081 will revert to a two lane carriageway.

The bridge is being built just off Airport Way and will be installed on the weekend ending Monday, December 2. This installation will require the complete closure of the A1081 Airport Way in both directions. Signed diversion routes using Kimpton Road will be in place for travellers.

Ciaran Scanlon, service director for London Luton Airport Ltd, said: “The installation of the DART bridge is a very significant milestone, not just for the pioneering scheme, but for the town of Luton as a whole.

"The DART is scheduled to open in 2021 and the airport will then become an even more attractive location for air passengers.

"Once it is in place it will mean we have the quickest journey time from the centre of London to any of the city’s satellite airports.

“By providing a quick, efficient, electrically-powered and “green” alternative to car travel, the DART scheme will support efforts to reduce single-occupancy car journeys to the airport and help sustain air quality in and around the east of Luton.

“Such large projects like this inevitably create some measure of inconvenience for travellers, for which we apologise in advance. The council is working hard with its contractors to ensure the disruption is closely monitored and kept to an absolute minimum.”

For further updates on roadworks in Luton please go to https://www.luton.roadworks.org/
The £225m DART scheme will link rail passengers to and from Luton Parkway station up to the airport in a short journey of approximately four minutes, making the airport a significantly more attractive destination for national and international travel.