PLANS to spend more than £4.1 million improving the busiest road junction in Monmouth are set to be signed off by the local authority.

The A40 Wye Bridge Transportation Improvement Scheme aims to improve traffic flows and ease congestion on the A40 and A466 Wye Bridge junction.

A report describes the road as “probably the third most significant corridor between Wales and England”.

Work would involve widening the A40 southbound approach by 170 metres to create a third lane dedicated for left-turning traffic heading over the Grade II listed Wye Bridge.

The existing two lanes would be reserved for traffic heading straight ahead and following the A449 towards Newport.

The report says: “The A40/A449 route is a key trunk road corridor between south Wales and the Midlands, and important to the Monmouthshire and Welsh economy including the promotion of successful major events and functions throughout the region.”

Pedestrians will benefit from a widened footpath across the bridge, with a new access leading to an extension of the existing subway between Wyesham and the town centre.

Plans to create a new river crossing, among other solutions, were found to be too “costly and difficult” to be pursued.

Monmouthshire County Council is expected to contribute £300,000 to the overall project costs, with the Welsh Government covering the remaining funds through its ‘pinch point’ programme fund.

A breakdown of the council’s contribution reveals that £200,000 will be borrowed and repaid over 20 years.

The remaining £100,000 will be drawn from grant funding and section 106 balances from a development at the former Wyesham Infants School.

The council plan to pay £150,000 towards the scheme during the current financial year, and the same amount in 2019/2020.

Any overspend incurred during the scheme’s development will also be shouldered by the authority, according to the report.

Councillors have been warned that it is a “common occurrence” for construction projects overrun in both time and budget.

The plans have been recommended for approval ahead of a full council meeting on Thursday, September 20