Twelve weeks worth of roadworks will start next month as a £1m revamp of the A56 Rising Bridge roundabout gets underway.
Highways bosses say communities will benefit from the works.
They say it will provide safe pedestrian crossings and designated cycle routes, linking villages, schools and businesses on either side of the roundabout.
The work will begin in February and take up to 12 weeks, starting with new lighting and landscaping, and is due to be completed by May. Works will be carried out daily between 10pm and 5am, and will involve single lane closures on the A56 and Rising Bridge roundabout. Some full carriageway closures will be needed, during which times fully signed diversion routes will be in place. However, there have been fears that the works will cause travel chaos for drivers.
Baxenden councillor Terry Hurn, said: “It’s going to cause chaos. Those routes are very busy in the morning and at teatime, any work that’s being done will affect that.
“It’s the only way round from Baxenden to the A56. But there is a real need to keep pedestrians safe - I suppose it has to be done, I can’t see any way round it. It’s just frustrating.”
Additional new traffic lights will be installed, and the carriageway will be resurfaced and redesigned to include the dedicated cycle lanes.
The scheme will feature ‘intelligent’ traffic lights, which will use sensors in the road to monitor traffic approaching from each direction and adjust the lights accordingly. The lights will allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross when it is safest to do so, and will remain on green for longer at the busiest junctions.
Highways England say they will do all they can to “minimise disruption” while works are taking place.
Project manager John Lyssejko added: “I’m pleased that the scheme at Rising Bridge roundabout will serve villages, schools and businesses in the area.”
Stephen Oldfield, headteacher of St John’s Stonefold Primary School at Rising Bridge welcomed the scheme.
He said: “They need to do something, it currently is a really dangerous roundabout. It’s well overdue. You currently cannot let your child walk to school that way, no amount of training whatsoever can equip children for dealing with this crossing. It’s just over 12 months ago that one of our pupils was airlifted to hospital after he was hit by a car that came straight off that roundabout.”
He added: “The work would be a brilliant thing for the area and it would encourage more people to come to our school, and prevent that kind of accident happening again.”
The work is part of a £4.5m Highways England improvement scheme.
Drivers and residents can access information about the scheme at highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/A56-Rising-Bridge-Roundabout.