Department for Transport announces opening of brand-new dual carriageway a year ahead of schedule
15 October 2019
The A14 Integrated Delivery Team, a joint venture between Costain, Balfour Beatty and Skanska, and design consultants Atkins Jacobs, has announced the early opening of the brand-new dual carriageway a full year ahead of schedule.
This news followed the A14 taking home four awards at the 2019 British Construction Industry Awards, including digital transformation initiative of the year, productivity initiative of the year, partnership initiative of the year as well as winning the coveted initiative of the year award.
These accolades are testament to the team’s focus on collaboration, health and safety and keeping the customer at the heart of delivering the project.
Having started works back in 2016, the new 12-mile bypass, which will now open in December 2019, is part of a wider 21-mile, £1.5 billion scheme in Cambridgeshire and is the largest upgrade of its kind in the UK. On completion, it will save drivers up to 20 minutes per journey, benefitting people living and working across the entire region.
To mark the early opening announcement, the A14 was visited by the Roads Minister, Baroness Vere.
Speaking on the project, Baroness Vere, said: “This Government is committed to delivering an infrastructure revolution and it’s fantastic that a key section of this vital route will be delivered a year ahead of schedule, helping people travelling in the East of England get to their destination quickly and safely.
“The A14 upgrade will not only improve the experience for local drivers but will also boost access between the region’s ports and the West Midlands – a key logistics hub.
“I look forward to seeing the benefits in action in December and to seeing similar infrastructure schemes developing around the country as we improve links and spread growth opportunities.”
On completion, the road will open as an A road, instead of a motorway as originally planned. This will take advantage of wider lanes when joining the neighbouring M11 and A1(M).
David Bray, Highways England project director, said: “I’m delighted that we will be able to deliver the benefits of this key section of the project so much earlier than originally planned. As well as a significant improvement for drivers, this major milestone will start to realise some of the benefits of the upgrade for residents and communities along the A14 too.
“And it will mean that we are able to start work sooner on the improvements we are making to local roads in and around Huntingdon as we start to dismantle the old viaduct over the train station, which will be a real boost for local communities.”
Julian Lamb, deputy project manager for the integrated delivery team, said: “We can put the continued success of the project down to our deep understanding of the scheme and our expertise in delivering complex road projects. This has allowed us to move the project along efficiently and effectively resulting in opening the bypass ahead of schedule and being recognized within the industry as a leader in innovation, productivity and collaboration.”
Work on the upgrade has progressed at pace, with around 10 million cubic metres of earth having been moved - more than four times the great pyramids of Giza.
The full project remains on track to open to traffic by the end of 2020.
Notes to Editors
About the A14
• The £1.5bn A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project will upgrade 21 miles of the A14 to three lanes in each direction (four lanes between Bar Hill and Girton) adding additional capacity, boosting the local and national economy and cutting up to 20 minutes off journeys
• 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 A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme will also include a local access road between Cambridge and Swavesey which will link into the old A14 all the way to Huntingdon. Improvements in Huntingdon town centre are also being delivered, including the demolition of the A14 viaduct and new link roads
• The new 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
• The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme is being delivered on behalf of Highways England by a joint venture of UK contractors and design consultants: Balfour Beatty, Costain and Skanska and for design, Atkins and CH2M. The delivery team is known as the A14 Integrated Delivery Team
• This week, Highways England has started making arrangements to use mandatory variable speed limits on the new A14 and to prohibit slow moving vehicles, which will be directed onto other, more suitable roads. These measures will help make sure that the safety benefits that motorway classification would have brought will be retained
• Work will continue along the Swavesey to Milton stretch of the project once the Huntingdon bypass is opened.