WHILE a new bridge was lifted into place in St Neots last week, large chunks of the concrete work on the A14 viaduct over the River Great Ouse were found below the bridge having broken off the structure.

ST NEOTS is on the up and Huntingdon is on the way down.

While a new bridge was lifted into place in St Neots last week, large chunks of the concrete work on the A14 viaduct over the River Great Ouse were found below the bridge having broken off the structure.

The chunks that could have killed or seriously injured passers-by were found by Huntingdon and Godmanchester Civic Society chairman Richard Meredith, when he was out walking on bank holiday Monday.

"Walking around Castle Hill, I found evidence that the A14 flyover is now definitely past its best-by date," he told The Hunts Post. "It is time this matter was placed at the top of the transport agenda by the county and district councils, and its upgrade and new route given priority over other transport schemes in the near future."

Mr Meredith said there were large bits of concrete on the riverside footpath under where the balustrade had gone from the side of the viaduct.

"It was quite horrific. It does look serious, and there's a huge crack on the other side as well," he added.

The Highways Agency was presumably aware of the damage, because there was orange plastic fencing across the gap in the wall, Mr Meredith said.

A Highways Agency spokesman said yesterday that the damage had happened last year, adding: "Following reports of concrete debris on the pathway beside the River Great Ouse beneath the A14 viaduct in Huntingdon, the agency will send a team to the site tomorrow to break up and remove the obstruction.

"The Highways Agency is committed to safe roads and our network has a strong record on safety. We continue to monitor and maintain the Huntingdon Viaduct to ensure it remains safe for drivers at all times."

There were no such problems in St Neots where a 37-tonne piece of history was slotted into place on Wednesday (May 25) providing a direct link between Eaton Socon and Eynesbury across the River Great Ouse.

Contractors took two hours to put the 40-metre long main section of the Willow Bridge into place. The £3.5million bridge provides a pedestrian and cycle link, and is part of cycling charity Sustrans' national cycle network.

The scheme has been paid for by developer contributions, Cambridgeshire County Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and the Big Lottery Fund.

The remaining sections of the bridge, including the approach ramps, will be installed over the coming weeks. The project is currently on schedule for an early autumn opening date.