First look at new section of upgraded A14 just weeks ahead of official opening
- Credit: Archant
With just weeks to go before a major section of the upgraded A14 is opened, the Hunts Post brings you a bird’s eye view of key features of the new road before it is inundated with traffic.
The 12-mile bypass between Swavesey and Brampton Hut will open before the end of the year, Highways England has said.
Opening the stretch of road will trigger the demolition of the viaduct above Huntingdon railway station and construction of new roads around the town.
The Huntingdon southern bypass is strangely eerie as the all but complete highway looks ready to go from 400ft in the air as the finishing touches are put in place.
The road marches across the formerly open countryside, empty apart from the occasional vehicle from contractors working on the project.
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Huntingdon's new southern bypass is part of the long-awaited £1.5billion upgrade of the A14, covering a total of 21 miles between the town and Cambridge, in one of the nation's biggest current construction projects.
Work started three years ago and the section which is near completion is being finished nearly a year ahead of schedule and is set to open to traffic in December.
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Our pictures, taken by Geoff Soden, show a delicate new bridge taking shape at Bar Hill alongside the more brutal traffic-carrying element of the road junction.
Moving north west along the route, Huntingdon's new bypass runs straight through the countryside to the new junction on the A1198 near the Wood Green animal shelter.
Then comes the bridge at Offord, which covers both the East Coast Mainline and the River Great Ouse, before the road reaches the interchange at Brampton where the A1 and A14 join.
The scheme is designed to speed up journeys along the A14, compared to the old, heavily congested, route and it will help to reduce noise and air pollution in Huntingdon, create development opportunities in the town and bring improvements to the station forecourt area.
Opening the bypass will enable serious work to get under way on removing the viaduct, with crucial stages taking place over the Christmas period when fewer train journeys take place.
A mobile protection deck will be installed under the present carriageway to that Brampton Road and the railway line can be kept open and then in the new year engineers will start to dismantle the viaduct, taking out its individual beams over several Saturday nights before they are broken up during sociable hours in the week.
Remaining sections of the viaduct will then be dismantled, with closures of Brampton Road and the railway line being kept to a minimum, taking place on Saturday nights where possible.