First contracts awarded for Cambridge to Huntingdon A14 upgrade

The existing A14 in Cambridgeshire which is prone to congestion.

The existing A14 in Cambridgeshire which is prone to congestion. - Credit: Archant

The first contracts have been awarded for the design and construction of the £1.5billion re-routing of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

A £35.3million contract for the detailed design of the project has been awarded to a joint venture between Atkins and CH2M.

This includes an initial development phase worth £19.6m and, once the detailed scheme is approved, a second phase valued at £15.7m involving design support during construction.

Two packages of construction work have been awarded to a joint venture between Costain and Skanska, the first covering the section between the A1 at Alconbury and the East Coast Mainline and the second continuing from the rail crossing to the existing A14 at Swavesey.

A pre-construction phase of work is valued at £1m with the main construction phase, to follow approval of the scheme, worth £598m.

There are two more construction packages still to be awarded. The third, for widening the existing A14 from Swavesey to Milton, near Cambridge, is being re-tendered and is due to be awarded in the summer while the fourth, for the demolition of the viaduct over the East Coast Mainline in Huntingdon, which will be bypassed by the new route, and changes to the local network will not go out to tender until 2019.

The contracts are being awarded under Highways England’s Collaborative Delivery Framework (CDF). Subject to consents from planning and transport authorities, construction work is due to start in late 2016 with the full project, involving the new bypass and the widened A14, expected to open in 2020.

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Chris Taylor, director for complex infrastructure at Highways England, said: “The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme is the first major award under the CDF and is to enable delivery of an up to £15bn of investment of national importance.

“We have raised the standards we expect from our supply partners – we expect quality of performance and for them to work collaboratively to deliver the excellence that our customers and stakeholders expect of us. We continue to be committed to working closely with our framework suppliers to ensure our expectations are clear and well understood.”

He added: “While we appreciate our planning application is yet to be fully examined by the Planning Inspectorate and we are yet to receive permission to start construction, these appointments will give us the support we need to prepare for works getting underway on time and to budget.”

The full project involves a new road between Swavesey and Brampton, widening the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury, widening the existing A14 between Swavesey and Milton, improving the junctions at Bar Hill, Swavesey, Girton, Histon and Milton and improvements in Huntingdon town centre improvements including the demolition of the existing A14 viaduct and a new local access road.

Highways England submitted a planning application to the Planning Inspectorate on December 31, 2014 and a six month examination phase began on May 14, giving registered parties an opportunity present their points view to an independent inspector.

A report will then be compiled by the Planning Inspectorate and submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport a decision.