A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme

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A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme approaches the halfway point

Work began on the £1.5bn scheme in November 2016 and the new road is due to open by the end of 2020, with some work (such as the removal of Huntingdon viaduct) continuing beyond that. Once complete, the project will boost the local economy and cut up to 20 minutes off journeys.

As the scheme approaches the halfway point, around 50% of main construction work has been completed and the project team are now focussing on completing the scheme’s 34 bridges and structures.

Good progress has been made over the summer, with over 90% of the 10 million m³ of material needed now excavated. A number of side-road bridges are open and by the end of the year nine bridges will be open to traffic.

All bridge beams have been installed on the 750m River Great Ouse viaduct. The heaviest of these weighs 150 tonnes, approximately the same weight as a blue whale.

In September, the scheme reached a crucial milestone, installing the new bridge decks at Bar Hill. Bridges are usually built in-situ by lifting bridge beams onto abutments and constructing the rest of the bridge around them. These steel and concrete bridges, each of which is 44 metres long and weighs 1,065 tonnes, were assembled in a pre-fabrication yard next to the junction and then raised into place by a specialised heavy-duty transporter. You can watch a time-lapse video of this below.

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What’s next?

We have a busy autumn ahead of us.

A temporary diversion of the A14 at Brampton Hut is in place to allow us to continue construction on the new Ellington junction.

We’ll be moving traffic onto the new bridge at Swavesey, so that we can demolish the existing bridge. This will require a full closure of the A14 and should complete in November.

We’re also starting to lay some of the final road surfacing in some areas of the scheme.

Proposal for A14 to be reclassified as a motorway

We want the A14 upgrade to be the safest and best road it possibly can be and we now have an opportunity to make our the road even better.

By the end of this year we will ask the Planning Inspectorate to amend the road status for a specific section of our scheme – the section between Ellington and Girton – from trunk road designation to motorway.

Motorways are twice as safe as A road dual carriageways and six times safer than single-carriageway roads, so this change offers safety benefits to our already robust plans. Classifying the road as a motorway will also remove slow moving traffic (such as farm vehicles and mopeds), which will further improve journey times.

We need to do this now so that a decision is made in time for the project opening to traffic by the end of 2020. The Secretary of State for Transport will make the final decision next year following the Planning Inspectorate’s review of our submission.

We’re currently carrying out various impact assessments for the designation change and will have more information in October, when we’ll also be carrying out a series of events. These will be publicised on our website and on social media.

For more information, read our FAQ.

About the Development Consent Order

Timeline

Date Event
2010 Government cancels Ellington Fen Ditton scheme
2011/12 Detailed study of options for A14
July 2012 Government announces A14 improvement will include a toll
June 2013 Government announces fast track delivery programme
September 2013 Scheme Options consultation
December 2013 Government removes tolling from the proposal
7 April to 15 June 2014 Pre-Application consultation
December 2014 Development Consent Order application
13 May to 13 November 2016 Development Consent Order examination
11 May 2016 Secretary of State decision
March 2017 Start of works
2020 A14 open to traffic

Development Consent Order – requirements register

We made a commitment to publish and update a register listing the requirements to be completed as part of the Development Consent Order (specified under the Register of Requirements in Schedule 2). This sets out:

  • each requirement
  • whether the requirement needs approval by the Secretary of State (or other duty holder)
  • whether any approval has been applied for or given

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