Mill Common in Huntingdon opens as A14 project is completed
- Credit: NATIONAL HIGHWAYS
The last section of Britain’s biggest road building project for a generation is now open as the last construction element of the £1.5 billion upgrade to the A14 in Huntingdon is completed.
Mill Common – the last in a series of new link roads into Huntingdon town centre was opened to the public on June 2.
This formed the final road construction of a £1.5 billion upgrade to the A14 in Cambridgeshire and ends more than five and half years of major infrastructure work to boost the local economy and help connect rural communities.
The completion of Mill Common means almost a mile of new link roads have been built on the outskirts of Huntingdon with the aim of improving access to the market town and the new transport hub around the train station.
Developments at the station include a new car park for train users, better access for buses and other vehicles, improved footpaths, and significant tree planting.
This followed the dismantling of the old A14 viaduct which spanned the East Coast Main Line and brought increased noise and air pollution to the heart of Huntingdon.
The 12,000-tonne structure had been out of use since the new bypass on the A14 linking Cambridge and Huntingdon was opened in December 2019.
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With the final road now complete, National Highways brings to a close the biggest investment in roads infrastructure for a generation. The major milestones included the building of a 12-mile bypass on the A14 in 2019 and upgrading 21-miles of the carriageway to three lanes in May last year.
This work means shorter and safer journey times for the 85,000 people that use the A14 each day. Figures indicate that motorists could save up to 20 minutes on their journeys following the improvements.
The upgraded 21-mile section of the A14 remains a vital link connecting the East coast and the Midlands. The new road, which has been National Highways flagship project, is set to bring nearly £2.5 billion of benefits to the UK economy.
Alongside the work to build and upgrade the A14, National Highways has also provided funding to Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) to create new routes for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. This means CCC have been able to build an additional 24-miles of routes across their network, enabling people to enjoy everything the county has to offer; both on and off-road.
To date around 940,000 trees have been planted as part of the scheme. This is a ratio of two to one for every tree that needed to be removed as part of the building project. Further tree planting is due to begin in October to address an unexpected failure rate from earlier planting schemes.
Laura Hampshire, senior project manager for the A14 improvement scheme, said: “This has been a huge amount of work and I am delighted to see the last piece of the jigsaw put in place with the opening of Mill Common.
“In the context of what we have achieved in this part of Cambridgeshire this small link road may seem little cog in a big machine, but I think it sums up what this project has been about for me; which is making a positive difference."