The largest road development project in
Britain completed 8 months' ahead of schedule.
A14- Cambridge to Huntingdon
Hill & Smith Barrier
The A14 is one of the busiest A-roads in the UK connecting the Midlands and the East of England. The route stretches from Cambridge to Huntingdon and offers access to other towns, cities and key transport hubs.
This project, which has been Highways England’s flagship project and the biggest investment in a roads project in a generation, is set to bring nearly £2.5 billion of benefits to the UK economy. Businesses are also set to get a boost from the project, saving on average £70 million every year, as it is shaving up to 20 minutes off journeys and strengthening links between the Midlands and the East of England.
The road opened eight months early which highlights what Highways England and the UK construction industry can achieve with efficient working and innovative thinking.
With around 85,000 drivers using the section every day before work started, including many more lorries than a typical A-road, the A14 suffered from heavy congestion on a regular basis. The A14 provided essential transport links to the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe which is used nationwide to ship goods’ overseas. This A-road was also the main link road for commuters living between the Midlands the East of England and increased journey times’ significantly during peak hours’.
The road widening, the introduction of additional lanes and the restructure of slip roads and feeder lines was intended to control the flow of traffic during peak times.
Hill & Smith Barrier was selected as a key supply chain partner in 2017; working closely with Arbus Limited, Hill & Smith supplied safety critical solutions and technical support from beginning to end. Hill & Smith Barrier was the sole supplier of Vehicle Restraint Systems for the A14; their systems included the Flexbeam VRS which is tested to EN1317 and has CE Mark approvals.
Communication and collaborative thinking allowed all parties to work in unison even when problems on site arose due to adverse ground conditions. More recently, the Coronavirus pandemic caused minor delays in the provision of materials and meant health and safety regulations on site needed reviewing to meet the new Government guidelines. Despite these hurdles, the A14 was completed 8 months’ ahead of schedule!