Highways England completes huge bridge on UK’s biggest road upgrade

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Now that construction has been completed on the biggest bridge in Highways England’s £1.5bn (US$1.7bn) A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon trunk road upgrade, the agency is sharing a time-lapse video showing the work that has gone into creating the huge structure since work began in November 2016.

The River Great Ouse Viaduct stretches for half a mile and, when it is open to traffic, will take the new A14 over the river and the East Coast Mainline Railway. It is part of a brand new 17-mile long (27km) bypass that is being built to the south of Huntingdon away from the existing A14, and will link the other 4 miles (6.4km) of the A14 being transformed as part of the UK’s biggest road upgrade.

Part of the government’s £15bn (US$17bn) Road Investment Strategy, the scheme will transform journeys on one of the East of England’s most vital roads, and the completion of the viaduct is the latest section of the project to be put in place.

Highways England (HE) is upgrading a 21-mile long (34km) stretch of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon to three lanes in each direction, including a brand-new bypass with four lanes in each direction between Bar Hill and Girton.
Once the new road is open to traffic, it will add capacity, boost the local and national economy, and cut up to 20 minutes off drivers’ journeys. The project will also include improving the junctions at Bar Hill, Swavesey, Girton, Histon and Milton. The scheme will also include improvements in Huntingdon town center, including the demolition of the A14 viaduct and new local access roads. The new bypass and widened A14 will open to traffic by the end of 2020.
The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme is being delivered on behalf of HE by a joint venture of UK contractors and design consultants. The project partnership known as the A14 Integrated Delivery Team, with Balfour Beatty, Costain and Skanska responsible for the construction work, and Atkins and CH2M for the design elements.

“This viaduct over the River Great Ouse is by far the biggest bridge on our 21-mile project. It’s taken over 18 months to build; yet when it opens to traffic in 2020, drivers will cross it in less than 30 seconds,” explained Willie McCormick, construction director for the A14 improvement scheme on behalf of HE.
“Our team is building 34 new bridges and structures as part of this epic project to deliver a new and improved A14 for the 85,000 vehicles a day who drive it. We’ve already opened nine of these to traffic, but around three quarters of the work is off the existing road network and unseen to drivers. We’re over half way through delivering the new A14, and this video will show people the hard work that is being done that they can’t see, and understand just how much has been done since work began in 2016.”

To view the time-lapse video, click here.

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.

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