Work on the £1.5 billion A14 upgrade in Cambridgeshire is officially underway.
The £1.5bn project will see 21 miles of the A14 upgraded to three lanes in each direction adding additional capacity.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling marked the start of construction work on the A14 with Highways England’s chief executive Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England staff and graduates, and local partners.
Jim O’Sullivan said: “The A14 is one of the most important east to west road links in the country, connecting businesses, communities and families. These vital improvements have been highly anticipated, and it is great to be able to start main construction today.
“I want the A14 to redefine what a road scheme can achieve and, in addition to a significantly upgraded road, I am determined that our work here will leave behind a positive legacy for people living along the A14 – providing better, safer journeys, setting hundreds of young people off on fulfilling careers in construction, and boosting the capacity of the whole country to deliver world leading infrastructure improvements.”
Steve Count, Cambridgeshire County Council leader, added: “I am glad to see work starting on the A14, this scheme will help keep Cambridgeshire moving and more importantly improve road safety. Anybody who has been stuck in a queue on the A14 knows how vital it is for these improvements to be delivered. This is a major national and international route and it needs to be reliable, safe and congestion free otherwise we risk our economy coming to a grinding halt. We have campaigned long and hard for this and contributed considerable funds towards this scheme. This arterial road is not only vital for the local economy but also a lifeline for the UK as well and simply needs delivering as early as possible.”
The project will include a major new bypass for Huntingdon, widening the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury, widening the existing A14 between Swavesey and Milton and improving the junctions at Bar Hill, Swavesey, Girton, Histon and Milton.
The new bypass and widened A14 will open to traffic by the end of 2020, although some finishing work such as the removal of the A14 viaduct in Huntingdon will continue beyond that.
Further details of more than £1.3 billion of road improvements, which were announced as part of the Autumn Statement last week, have also been announced by the Transport Secretary.