New aerial photos released amid news that community fund is open as part of the major A14 upgrade
- Credit: Archant
Community groups are invited to bid for funding linked to a major upgrade of the A14 as work takes shape on the biggest road work of its kind in the UK.
New aerial photographs have been released to show the A14 upgrade as it looks this week with developers saying work is progressing well.
The community funding pot was launched last year to support a range of activities with a focus on bringing communities closer together.
Mike Evans, Highways England strategic engagement manager, said: “Groups can submit projects linked with the new road within a range of themes including the environment, art or skills and selected projects will receive a grant of up to £10,000.”
The first three rounds of funding applications have been completed and more than £50,000 have been allocated to eight different projects including primary school murals, skills projects for unemployed people, projects linked to cycling and to wildlife.
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“Our commitment to the local community is also to give them the opportunity to respond to the changes our project brings.”
The project team have shared new aerial photographs revealing how the new road is emerging.
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Alongside this progress, foundations and bridge columns for some of the project’s 34 new bridges have been installed.
Work on the £1.5bn upgrade to the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon started in November last year.
The project includes widening a total of seven miles of the A14 in each direction, a major new bypass south of Huntingdon, widening a three-mile section of the A1 and demolition of a viaduct at Huntingdon.
Chris Griffin, A14 project manager at Highways England, said: “We are continuing to make good progress. We have had mild and dry weather this winter and spring and have been making the most of it to move the project forward quickly and safely.
“I am pleased that the outline for most of the new road’s path has now been created and it won’t be long before some of our first structures are completed.”
The project’s earthworks team has been stripping top soil over more than 17 miles out of the project’s total length of 21 miles to create several sections of the future new road.
It includes the Huntingdon bypass, the new Swavesey junction, and the five-mile local access road, which will link local communities between Huntingdon and Cambridge without the need to use the A14.
“We are careful to minimise our impact on the surrounding environment while we work, and the environment keeps reminding us that it is all around us too.
“On a progress visit through the River Great Ouse viaduct site recently, I was joined by an unexpected companion: a heron standing in one of the lakes near the temporary bridge, seemingly surveying the piling team’s work.”
An important part of the project has been the planning of environmental mitigation so that, by the time the project is completed, its footprint on the surrounding natural environment is as small as possible, he said.
A team of ecologists is working with wildlife including water voles, great crested newts, kestrels, bats and barn owls, as well as some protected plant species, to create new habitats. More information will be made available as work progresses.
In addition, the team will replant twice as many trees as have been felled throughout the project by the time it is completed.