Contractors working on behalf of Swansea Council hope to begin a phased return to work today (Monday, May 18).
They will work to latest government coronavirus guidelines to keep themselves and the public safe.
The existing one-way system will continue until supply chains, personnel matters and safety measures allow the planned switch to two-way traffic to go ahead. Once that goes ahead, the scheme will be practically complete.
Councillor Mark Thomas, the council’s cabinet member for environment and infrastructure management, said: “Work undertaken in the coming weeks will help us edge this important regeneration project forward. There’ll be a close focus on safety and working strictly in line with up-to-date instructions from governments and industry bodies.
“Although the city centre’s rejuvenation continues at this difficult time, the safety of personnel and the public is paramount. We will not rush things at the expense of safety and we ask motorists, pedestrians, businesses and residents to bear with us. We appreciate their understanding.”
The new-look Kingsway and neighbouring streets, with broader pedestrian areas and an extensive 20mph speed limit, are designed to help attract people to existing businesses and to encourage new businesses into the city centre.
More than 180 new trees are being introduced, doubling the number of trees in that area. Large grassy areas and many plants and shrubs are being introduced. The improvements form part of a wider plan to regenerate Swansea city centre. Main contractor for the £12m scheme is Welsh civil engineering firm Griffiths.
Initial work is likely to include the creation of central islands in Grove Place and infrastructure at the junction of Alexandra Road and Orchard Street. Other work is expected to progress on matters such as road building, kerb reconfiguration, drainage channels and pedestrian crossing points.
Safety measures in place will include gradually increasing the numbers of workers on site from a low starting point, staggered start, finish and break times, an increased number of safety barriers and wider safety zones between workers and the public. Personnel with coronavirus symptoms or who live with those with symptoms will remain off site.
Some of the work will necessitate traffic management in the form of lane restrictions. Updates will be posted on the council’s social media platforms.
Elements of the project already completed include the construction of wider footways and shared cycleway/footways. These now help the public maintain social distancing and help with alternative sustainable modes of city centre transport such as walking and cycling.
The Kingsway scheme has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. Funders for some other elements of Swansea’s regeneration include the Swansea Bay City Deal.
Elsewhere in and around the city centre construction work has been progressing on projects such as the £135m Swansea Central Phase One scheme (with arena, homes, parking, parkland and commercial units), homes and commercial premises in Orchard House on the Kingsway Circle, and multi-million pound student accommodation in Mariner Street next to High Street Station, Kings Road in SA1 and on the Morfa Distributor Road.
More: The Kingsway Infrastructure Project – www.swansea.gov.uk/thekingsway