Final demolition of A14 viaduct moves nearer
- Credit: HUNTS POST
Demolition of the two large remaining sections of the A14 viaduct above Huntingdon railway station is set to start shortly - but a local business leader has raised concerns over the impact of linked road changes on trade in the town’s high street.
The viaduct is being knocked down as part of the £1.5 billion upgrade of the key route which made the massive structure redundant.
Work on the last sections of the 12,000 tonne concrete flyover will start later this month when demolition crews start on the eastern side and the western side will come down in November.
A spokesman for National Highways said: “Work on the east side viaduct are due to begin overnight on October 16-17. This will see the viaduct being lifted and it will stay there for a week while the piers are removed.
"The following weekend will see the span moved back and then lowered to the ground to be demolished.
“The equipment will then be moved to the west side of the viaduct and the same operation will be repeated in November.”
The spokesman said: “This is by far the most efficient way to remove the final parts of the viaduct, with the minimum impact on our community and the travelling public.”
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Work on the A14 upgrade started in November 2016 with the final stages in the Huntingdon being scheduled for completion next year.
Malcolm Lyons, area leader for the Federation of Small Businesses, called for the removal of a 40mph speed limit on a stretch of the now A1307 between Godmanchester and Huntingdon and raised reservations about the design of the new junction where it joins the town’s ring road near the bus station.
He felt both factors were having a negative impact on the high street, although he accepted the 40mph limit was a safety feature while work was taking place.
“I think they need to remove the 40mph speed limit as a matter of urgency since it does not encourage people to come into the town and nor does the junction which can cause congestion on the ring road,” he said.
The National Highways spokesman said: “The current 40mph limit is in place as the central reserve barrier requires maintenance/replacement. So the speed restriction is a safety measure.
“The maintenance/replacement works are being designed and the intention is for these to be carried out by April 2022.”