After the best part of a year of disruption, the major improvement works have added new approach lanes, an extra lane on the roundabout and installed traffic signals to the busy A17/A15 junction.
The roundabout, which was constructed in the 1970sm was recognised as having reached the limits of its capacity for congestion. Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: "I'm really happy to say that Holdingham Roundabout is officially back open, with the new approach lanes and traffic signals in full operation.
"This is fantastic news for the county, and I want to thank everyone for remaining patient and bearing with us while these works were being carried out. These major changes will not only help to ensure an equal flow of traffic from all directions, but will also improve people’s journey times and support growth in the area over the coming years.
"This project has been a massive undertaking, with 39,000 workforce hours spent, nearly a mile of new drainage installed and over 16,000 tonnes of tarmac, stone and other road-building materials used.
"Over the next few days, the team will be carrying out some finishing touches near the roundabout like planting trees, tidying the verges and installing some final sections of fence.
“And, when the weather is better early next spring, Eurovia (the contractor) will be coming back to site to plant grass seed.”
The total cost of the rugby club junction, which was carried out previously, and Holdingham Roundabout projects is £8.25m. This is being funded by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, North Kesteven District Council, Lincolnshire County Council and developer contributions.
Some facts and figures about the Holdingham Roundabout project:
• 24 new traffic signals installed
• Over 14,000 tonnes of material excavated
• Over 75 new trees planted, including beech, evergreen oak and holly
Nearly 1½ miles of new kerbing installed
• 35 new street lighting columns installed
• Nearly half a mile of utility cables and pipes diverted
Coun Davies added: “Now that the roundabout is fully back open and the new traffic lights are running, the team will be monitoring and tweaking the signals’ timings over the coming weeks to ensure they operate as efficiently as possible."
The signals are also linked to sensors and cameras, enabling them to 'learn' and adapt to traffic flows.
“We’ve also future-proofed the A17 Newark leg of the roundabout so that signals can be installed here down the line as and when required.”
Previously the roundabout often saw major tailbacks of traffic heading out of town and from Newark, struggling to get onto the roundabout due to the constant flows at peak times. The lights are designed to balance things up.
The work also enables the capacity to cope with planned expansion of Sleaford with new housing and business development in the pipeline on the outskirts. Coun Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council, said: “It’s brilliant to see this work to Holdingham roundabout complete and I look forward to the improved traffic flow it’s expected to bring to the area and the wider road network around Sleaford.
“The improvements will help relieve congestion and improve air quality, which is vital for our local environment and our own health, while also saving time for those visiting Sleaford and the many vibrant local high streets and centres in our district for shopping, leisure and more including over Christmas and New Year or looking to travel onwards.
“This investment also boosts the potential of the district and local economy by providing the high quality road network needed to support opportunities for economic growth and new jobs, including at our new Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park.
“I thank everyone for their patience while this work to Holdingham roundabout took place, and the teams who’ve worked so hard to bring this forward successfully.”
Pat Doody, chairmanof the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are very pleased to have been able to support the enhancement of this major intersection and key arterial route, which had exceeded its capacity levels in terms of congestion and queueing times.
“Investment in this scheme will now enable major planned housing and employment growth of Sleaford through the development of the East and West Sustainable Urban Extensions and Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park.”
Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution, Neil O’Brien MP said: “It’s great to see that with the help of nearly £2 million of government investment, improvements for Holdingham Roundabout are now complete, improving journey times, reliability and safety for local people and the surrounding areas.
“As we levelling up every corner of the United Kingdom, we are making towns across the country even more desirable places to work, live and visit.”
The developments have been generally well received by locals. Clare Annan commented: "I'm pleased the traffic lights are switched on."
Brian Hare added: "Just come round from Lincoln, well impressed, so much easier with the traffic lights in operation."
But there were still a few sceptics suggesting lights will actually cause hold-ups. Sally-Nigel Cox said: "Hope there is no chaos."
Hannah Greetham commented: "People still don't know what lane they should be in."
Adrian Walker said: "Why not just put a flyover for the A17, where's the green element in traffic lights? Don't they use electricity?"