The redesigned Seven Dials roundabout in Brighton is due to reopen this weekend, Brighton and Hove City Council said yesterday (Friday 22 November).
Almost all the temporary traffic restrictions at the junction are expected to be removed.
The council said that contractors still had to add a few finishing touches to the scheme which should be complete on schedule in three weeks’ time (Friday 13 December).
Two large trees will be planted on the new traffic island and eight others on pavements with a large Christmas tree on the island to be sponsored by the contractor Edburton.
Councillor Ian Davey said: “Thanks so much to residents and businesses for their patience.
“Well done to council staff and contractors for getting it done on time.
“I’m certain the area will look much better and be a lot safer for everyone, however they are travelling.
“The changes including the new trees and paving will help lift the whole area and enhance the Dials’ village atmosphere benefiting both local residents and traders.”
The £800,000 project has taken about nine months. The surrounding roads have been closed or partially closed in rotation, typically for three or four weeks at a time.
The main change has involved creating a longer oval traffic island to replace the old mini-roundabout.
Traffic engineers expect this to mean that cars and other vehicles will join the roundabout more slowly than previously and traffic will merge more gradually rather than converging on a single point.
The council said that the improvements were intended to benefit all road users particularly cyclists and pedestrians.
It said that other measures included removing street clutter and changing pelican crossings to zebra crossings to make it quicker and easier to cross.
It defended the controversial removal of guard railings, opposed by a number of blind people, saying that it was a measure taken in other locations in the city.
The council added: “Nationally, experts say removing them does not reduce safety.
“Most residents offering a view – 67 per cent – backed the main changes during public consultation last autumn.
“The junction is one of the most accident-prone in the city.
“Twenty personal injury accidents were recorded within a 25-metre radius of the Seven Dials roundabout between October 2009 to October 2012, resulting in 23 casualties.”