PRELIMINARY work has started on a multi-million pound project to revamp a key Basingstoke roundabout.

Engineers from the Highways Agency have been carrying out investigations and clearing vegetation in preparation for Basingstoke’s first “hamburger” roundabout at Black Dam Roundabout.

The Government-backed scheme will see the A339 ring road cut through the centre of the roundabout and connect with the junction six slip road, with the aim of curbing congestion.

Most of the construction work will start in July, and it is expected to continue until March 2015.

In 2012, the Government announced a £4.3million investment for the work at the roundabout as part of its national Pinch Point Programme.

The Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, a partnership of representatives from private and public organisations from north Hampshire and Surrey, submitted the bid for the cash.

The development scheme is seen as a key part of plans by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for the town to be seen as a leading business centre in the South East, and would complement its regeneration project at Basing View.

Residents in Black Dam, who live close to the roundabout and the M3 slip road, have received letters about the preliminary work.

The letter said the main construction work will involve the construction of a four-lane northbound through the roundabout, realignment and widening of all approaches, and the installation of safety barriers, new traffic signs, signals and streetlights.

Andy Skinner, from contractor EM Highway Services, also apologised in the letter for noise caused by the preliminary work, which has involved the use of hand-held power tools.

Preliminary work started on January 2 and is expected to continue until the end of the month, with various lane closures overnight.