There was good news for motorists using the A14 in and around Cambridge today with the announcement that the improved stretch of the dual carriageway will open six months earlier than originally planned.
Highways England said the 21-mile stretch, which has cost £1.5 billion scheme and for which work began back in 2016, was not set to be completed until the end of this year.
But its chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said it would be opened earlier and is expected to cut down journey times by 20 minutes.
He said: “The A14 is a vital route used by 85,000 drivers every day and including more than 21,000 hauliers transporting essential goods around the country.
“Opening this scheme more than six months early and on budget shows what the UK construction industry can achieve working with Highways England on the Strategic Road Network. I would like to thank them for their focus on our joint success and for their one team approach.
“Also, I would like to thank road users, residents and stakeholders for their patience and support during our work. This road is not just a piece of national infrastructure – it brings benefits to the region and local towns and communities too.”
The 12 miles Huntingdon southern bypass was opened in December, a year ahead of schedule and the scheme to improve journeys between the East of England and the Midlands was originally planned to open to traffic by the end of 2020.
The Spring opening date marks the end of permanent roadworks and reduced speed limits on the new A14 and A1307, but there are still a number of completion activities to carry out, such as landscaping, installing new technology and other off-road tasks. To carry out this work safely, some temporary overnight closures or off-peak daytime lane closures will be needed.
Construction on the project continues at pace to meet this ambitious deadline.
It includes finishing the A1307 between Bar Hill and Swavesey and at its junction with Huntingdon road in Cambridge
completing the Swavesey, Histon, Girton and Milton junctions and completing the main A14 carriageway between Swavesey and Milton
The old A14, now known as the A1307 east of Huntingdon and along the Alconbury spur, and A141 west of Huntingdon, will be used as a local access road running parallel to the A14 and serving the surrounding communities.