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UK’s biggest road project reaches half-way point milestone

A £1.5bn major road scheme is on target to be completed by December 2020 as workers celebrate reaching the half-way point.

Starting two years ago, the project is set to upgrade 21 miles of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon. Since 28 November 2016, more than eight million working hours have gone into the scheme, and eight million cubic metres of earthworks have been moved across the site – equivalent to more than three Great Pyramids of Giza.

Nine new bridges will have opened to traffic by the end of the year and construction is well under way on 25 more. Teams along the way have also uncovered plenty of archaeological finds which shine new light on thousands of years of history.

The finished upgrades will see Highways England incorporate three lanes in each direction including a brand new 17-mile bypass south of Huntingdon, with four lanes in each direction between Bar Hill and Girton. The added capacity is projected to cut up to 20 minutes off drivers’ journeys.

Traffic flow has been maintained through the roadworks, leaving all lanes open to traffic during the day, with extra restrictions, when needed, in place overnight and at weekends.

Commenting on the upgrade, project director for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme David Bray said: “Our amazing team has been working incredibly hard to deliver this upgraded A14, and most days we have up to 2,700 staff working across more than 20 miles to build the new roads and bridges that are needed, in addition to all of the environmental measures we are implementing. This is the biggest road building project currently taking place in the country and yet drivers will only see around a quarter of it from the existing road at present.”

Workers have also been recognised for their efforts and have packed up eight industry awards for innovative working, including ‘Best Construction Project to Work On’ and a RoSPA Gold Health and Safety Award. The project is also the first of its type to be recognised as by the Considerate Construction Scheme as an ‘Ultra’ site, for the way the project is delivered.

Bray added: “Working on this epic project has been remarkable so far: from seeing the new road emerge as we moved earth into place for its foundations, to the wide array of bridges and structures being built, the fantastic discoveries of our archaeological team and the industry-leading work our environmental team is carrying out.”