A14 work restarts after Covid-19 deep clean

The A14 around Huntingdon from the air

The A14 around Huntingdon from the air - Credit: Archant

Work has restarted on the £1.5 billion A14 upgrade after a temporary halt caused when a member of the team was diagnosed with Covid-19.

But the hold-up, of about a week, will not have any impact on the timing of the long-awaited project which is running well ahead of schedule.

A spokesman for Highways England said work resumed on Monday following a “deep clean”.

They said a member of the A14 project team had tested positive for the coronavirus and that work had been stopped while a cleaning operation took place.

“Our sites have stringent social distancing measures in place and we have temporarily paused work on the project and closed our site offices while we carry out a deep clean,” the spokesman said.

Highways England said the closure would not affect the completion time of the project since most of the road was now open, eight months ahead of schedule.

Members of the A14 team involved in removing the viaduct over Huntingdon railway station had not been on site since the Saturday before last and the member of the team affected by the coronavirus had not been to the Huntingdon office.

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Highways England said the crew which closes the local road while the viaduct was dismantled only worked nights in the Huntingdon area and were considered to be not at risk of exposure to the virus.

Other work in the Huntingdon area, where the team had been working from the Brampton office, had been temporarily halted while facilities were sanitised.

Work on the upgrade of the heavily congested A14 began in November 2016 and was scheduled to be finished at the end of this year.

But the new 12-mile Huntingdon bypass was opened last December, a year early, and the bulk of the scheme was opened in May, also well ahead of schedule.

The upgrade, over 21 miles of the A14, was the nation’s biggest road-building project and involved road widening, new junctions and the Huntingdon bypass.

Some work remains in the Huntingdon area to create new access roads after the dismantling of the viaduct.