A £3.5m temporary plant capable of churning out thousands of tonnes of asphalt for the A14 upgrade has been opened at Godmanchester.
The plant, which has created eight new jobs, was commissioned by Aggregate Industries to provide surfacing just for the £1.5 billion scheme, which is England's biggest road project.
It is sited off Ermine Street and took just three months to build.
Chris Hudson, managing director of asphalt and readymix at Aggregate Industries, said: “As sole supplier for England's largest and most prestigious road improvement project, our aim on this contract is to collaboratively deliver the works as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, whilst reducing the impact of operations on the local community and the road network.
“As such, we've invested a significant amount of time and resources in setting up our new asphalt plant on the A14. By ensuring a consistent supply of our innovative surfacing materials for the duration of the project, this facility will no doubt play a critical role in helping us to provide the world class service expected of a market leader.”
Over a 30-month period, the new plant will make 700,000 tonnes of asphalt to be installed on the A14 and another 500,000 tonnes of cement bound granular mixtures for the bed of the road as an alternative to the more traditional reinforced concrete.
Equipment at the plant includes a machine capable of producing 240 tonnes of asphalt each hour.
The plant is also capable of supplying 50 per cent recycled asphalt, minimising the carbon footprint of the scheme as fewer vehicle movements will be required.
Work started on the site after it was announced in May that Aggregate Industries had been contracted to deliver the entire surfacing work for the A14 upgrade which includes 21 miles of multi-lane road, including a new bypass south of Huntingdon involving new carriageways between Swavesey and Brampton.
Work on the long-awaited upgrade started in 2016 and the road is expected to be open to traffic by the end of 2020, with the final stage then starting on new roads in Huntingdon.
Aggregate Industries said the new plant created new jobs, including the recruitment of a highly-skilled team of product, logistics and technical experts working around the clock to meet quality and delivery needs.