£10m A14 contract awarded

A MULTI-million pound project to improve a notorious stretch of the A14 looks set to get under way next month after roads chiefs revealed which firm will build the long-awaited flyover.

By James Mortlock

A MULTI-million pound project to improve a notorious stretch of the A14 looks set to get under way next month after roads chiefs revealed which firm will build the long-awaited flyover.

The news was welcomed by community leaders and Transport Minister David Jamieson, who said the work would bring huge benefits to traffic using the stretch at Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, which has seen 18 people killed or seriously injured since 1998.

The £10 million scheme to replace the existing crossroads with a bridge carrying the A14 across local roads came a crucial step closer yesterday with the award of a contract for the Highways Agency scheme to Mowlem PLC.


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Mr Jamieson said: "The Government is committed to cutting the number of accidents on the road network, so I am pleased that work on this much-needed improvement is due to start soon.

"It will provide safer access to and from the A14 and remove the risk of accidents associated with turning and crossing the A14 by closing the central reservation gaps."

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The Rookery Crossroads scheme also includes closure of the central reservation gap crossing at Two Mile Spinney, closure of the Two Mile Spinney junction with the U8003 side road from Blackthorpe, and the realignment of about one mile of the existing A14. Many direct means of private access will also be closed.

The total cost of the scheme is £10.18 million, which includes cost of works, design, supervision, land and inflation. Construction is expected to start in mid September.

Bury's MP David Ruffley welcomed the announcement by the Highways Agency that the contract for work on the A14 Rookery Crossroads has been awarded to Mowlem.

He said: "I am happy to welcome this excellent news from the Highways Agency. This is good news for the people of Bury and the people of Suffolk as a whole. This is important not only for road safety in the area but also for future business development. I have been campaigning for these much needed improvements for a number of years.

"I am delighted that the contract has now been awarded and that a start date has been given. This vital safety work at the crossroads has been the subjects of various campaigns since at least 1979. Over the last six years at least 18 people have been seriously injured or killed at this blackspot. It has been a long time coming but the pressure by all involved on the Government and the Highways Agency has finally paid off."

Teddy May, a veteran St Edmundsbury borough councillor for Rougham, died last month, only weeks before the official news of the improvement work he fought so hard to win. The former mayor played a crucial role in persuading the Government to approve the work.

Sara Mildmay-White, the current St Edmundsbury councillor for Rougham, said: "The sad thing is work is due to start next month but Teddy always said it would never happen in his lifetime."

Information about the work set to be carried out at Rougham is available from the Highways Agency information line on 08457 50 40 30 or from the website: www.highways.gov.uk

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