They're under starters order: County council gives the green light to start first phase of Kings Dyke level crossing replacement
PUBLISHED: 15:47 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:47 09 February 2018
So confident is Cambridgeshire County Council that they will strike a deal to acquire land needed for the £16.5million Kings Dyke crossing at Whittlesey, the green light has been given to start phase one on February 19.
“Negotiations with the main land owners on land acquisition and land contract are progressing well,” councillors were told yesterday at the economic and environment committee.
The report, tabled to the committee but clearly produced in December, noted there are “some encouraging signs that a contract exchange with one of the main land owners may be completed soon after Christmas.”
Today a council spokesman said they were “working very closely with current land owners to reach a conclusion on specific land and access requirements, and this should be finalised by the end of February”.
That aside the committee was told ground investigations involving bore holes, trial pits and topographical surveys can now begin.
This will involve trial holes in the existing A605 to locate and survey the public utility services within the road and verges
Kier has been appointed as the contractor to carry out the detailed engineering design of the scheme and is expecting to progress onto construction if costs and expectations meet.
Kier hopes to finalise the design in preparation for approval in June 2018 to allow construction to start in the autumn.
County councillor David Connor said: “Developing major road projects of this kind through land that has prized mineral extraction areas is complex.
“As part of the scheme two tunnels are to be built to allow access for future potential mineral extraction from land nearby. These are large structures and have involved some careful design consideration to ensure suitable access is given without compromising the agreed planning requirements for the scheme.
“We are now through the most challenging stages involving land and engineering requirements and are well placed for the scheme to commence works in autumn 2018.”
The route chosen for the new single carriageway road bypasses the existing level crossing to the south. It will involve the creation of two new roundabouts at Funthams Lane and the brickworks access road.
The existing level crossing has long been a bottleneck for traffic between Whittlesey and Peterborough. Future plans by the rail industry to increase trains along the route will further increase delays