Drivers across the East of England will benefit from a brand new dual carriageway opening a full year ahead of schedule in December 2019.
The 12-mile bypass is part of a wider 21-mile scheme in Cambridgeshire which will save drivers up to 20 minutes per journey, benefitting people living and working across the entire region.
It will also support the whole UK by boosting access to and from the country’s biggest and busiest container port at Felixstowe – crucial as the UK looks to a bright future after Brexit.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:
"This government is committed to delivering an infrastructure revolution and it’s fantastic that a key section of this vital route will be delivered a year ahead of schedule, helping people travelling in the east of England get to their destination quickly and safely.
The A14 upgrade will not only improve the experience for local drivers but will also boost access between the region’s ports and the West Midlands – a key logistics hub.
I look forward to seeing the benefits in action in December and seeing similar infrastructure schemes developing around the country as we improve links and spread growth opportunities."
The bypass is part of a £1.5 billion project to upgrade 21 miles of the A14 in Cambridgeshire, the biggest upgrade of its kind in the UK.
It had been due to open on December 2020, but excellent progress made by the Highways England-led team means that the road will now be ready for drivers to use this December.
The opening of the bypass follows confirmation last week that 18 new road schemes have been given the go ahead by the Department for Transport, in addition to the £25.3 billion that has already been committed for investment in the strategic road network between 2020 and 2025.
To take advantage of the early opening, the road will open as a best-in-class A road rather than a motorway as originally planned, but the design will remain the same.
Highways England project director David Bray said:
"I’m delighted that we will be able to deliver the benefits of this key section of the project so much earlier than originally planned. As well as a significant improvement for drivers, this major milestone will start to realise some of the benefits of the upgrade for residents and communities along the A14 too.
And it will mean that we are able to start work sooner on the improvements we are making to local roads in and around Huntingdon as we start to dismantle the old viaduct over the train station, which will be a real boost for local communities."
Work on the upgrade has progressed at pace, with around 10 million cubic metres of earth having been moved - more than 4 times the great pyramids of Giza.
The full project remains on track to open to traffic by the end of 2020.