THE £944million, 22-mile upgrade of the A14 in Cambridgeshire will be complete by 2015 – including demolition of the railway viaduct in Huntingdon and re-building of the west-of-town-centre road network, the Highways Agency last week promised. The project
THE £944million, 22-mile upgrade of the A14 in Cambridgeshire will be complete by 2015 - including demolition of the railway viaduct in Huntingdon and re-building of the west-of-town-centre road network, the Highways Agency last week promised.
The project will be completed within budget, project manager Geoff Chatfield promised at the launch of The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Awards.
But engineers privately concede that the cost could rise. When the scheme was originally announced on All Fools' Day 2003, it was costed at £490million with a completion date of 2010.
In fact, construction will now not start before late 2010, when Costain Skanska starts construction work on on-line widening and provision of parallel local roads between Fen Drayton and Histon.
The other two sections - Ellington-Fen Drayton, including the new Huntingdon southern bypass, and the north Cambridge widening between Histon and Fen Ditton will be the subject of a separate design-and-build re-tendering exercise, Costain Skanska's John Clarke told the business leaders.
The joint venture is working on the detailed alignment of the whole route and the junction strategy, but not yet detailed junction design, Mr Chatfield said.
The Highways Agency was still considering adding a partial junction with the A1198 near the Wood Green Animal Shelter, with west-facing slip-roads only, but there was no decision yet on that.
Generally, the strategy will be to have as few junctions as possible, with long-distance through traffic staying on the A14 and local traffic using the new parallel local roads and the de-trunked existing road between Fen Drayton and the new road layout in Huntingdon, which will include new links to the ring road, station and Hinchingbrooke.
Once the local roads are built and the viaduct demolished, the superseded parts of the existing A14 will become the responsibility of Cambridgeshire County Council.
The new road will be six lanes wide except between Ellington and Buckden, where a new four-lane stretch will run parallel to the A1, which will be widened between Brampton Hut and Buckden to six lanes.
INFORMATION: The agency and joint venture are constructing an e-mail address for inquiries about the project. It will be A14.firstname.lastname@example.org.