Connecting Industries Worldwide

Success for Balfour Beatty joint venture as Britain’s biggest road project opens over six months early

The A14 joint venture delivery team, comprised of Balfour Beatty, Costain and Skanska working on behalf of Highways England, has announced that Britain’s biggest road project – the A14 – is set to open to drivers more than half a year early.

The £1.5 billion scheme is designed to improve journeys between the East of England and the Midlands. Works commenced in November 2016 and, with a previous completion date of Winter 2020, is now due to open six months early in Spring 2020.

To open the scheme early, the integrated delivery team focused on innovative and sustainable construction methods. With the use of digital asset management and SiteVision - an in-field visualisation software - the team planned and designed complex routes in a safe and efficient way. In line with their commitment to sustainability, the project has also reduced its environmental impact by planting over 900,000 trees, using local materials and recycling excess soil for use on nearby embankments.

Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan, said: “The A14 is a vital route used by 85,000 drivers every day and including more than 21,000 hauliers transporting essential goods around the country.

“Opening this scheme more than six months early and on budget shows what the UK construction industry can achieve working with Highways England on the Strategic Road Network. I would like to thank them for their focus on our joint success and for their one team approach.

“Also, I would like to thank road users, residents and stakeholders for their patience and support during our work. This road is not just a piece of national infrastructure - it brings benefits to the region and local towns and communities too.”

Julian Lamb, A14 Deputy Project Director for the integrated delivery team, said: “The early opening of the A14 is testament to the collaborative and innovative team working on the project. With a focus on delivering a safe and sustainable road network, our expertise and capabilities have allowed us to deliver this project safely and efficiently, ahead of schedule.”

This announcement follows the recent December opening of part of the 21-mile scheme – a new 12-mile bypass south of Huntingdon – a whole year early. Already, the bypass has been used to make more than five million journeys.