The works follow a recent magnetic ground survey which identified a number of metallic objects. Given the proximity to long-standing military establishments in Portsmouth and Gosport, these may represent unexploded ordnance, such as shells and grenades which still pose a risk of detonation and therefore, need to be dealt with safely.
Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “In line with our policy to focus on essential and safety related highways work only during the Coronavirus outbreak, works to support the preparation of the construction of the Stubbington bypass will be carried out next week. This involves the removal or potential unexploded ordnance, should it be present, and the removal of felled trees and shrubs across the construction site.
“This work will be taking place away from the highway and any buildings. Contractors will be following national guidelines on social distancing at all times, and there is no reason to anticipate any contact at all with members of the public.
“We made a commitment to the people of Gosport and Stubbington to improve traffic and travel in South Hampshire and have worked hard to get to this stage. Improving the transport network has the potential to encourage investment and development into the area and provide new jobs for local people – and it is ever more important we remain ready to deliver this scheme to support the economic recovery of the area, and the whole of Hampshire, once we are through the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.”
All work will be carried out in line with the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operation Procedures based on Public Health England guidance.
Hampshire County Council has developed the £34.5 million Stubbington bypass scheme to:
• Divert traffic around Stubbington to help reduce journey times and peak time congestion onto and off the Gosport peninsula;
• Improve transport infrastructure to encourage investment and regeneration in the area especially at the Solent Enterprise Zone;
• Improve the environment within Stubbington village with reduced traffic flows and improved access for pedestrians and cyclists;
• Provide a new 3.5 kilometre connection from the B3334 Titchfield Road to B3334 Gosport Road, with additional improvements to the existing sections at Titchfield; Road at its northern end and Gosport Road at the southern end.