The improved road officially opened for traffic on 5th May - eight months ahead of the scheduled opening date.
Negotiating the supply of material and installation of such a major infrastructure project was a significant achievement for Aggregate Industries’ Asphalt and Contracting teams. In total, over 1.6 million square metres of road was constructed and surfaced, and 10 kilometres of non-motorised user pathways created.
This required more than 730,000 tonnes of asphalt to be manufactured at a purpose-built plant on site and laid to an industry-leading standard, along with in excess of 550,000 tonnes of low-carbon cement bound granular mixture (CBGM), manufactured on a mobile cementitious mixing plant by SiteBatch. These plants played a crucial role in minimising the carbon footprint of the scheme as deliveries were made on-site, requiring less vehicle movements on the Strategic Road Network. In addition, Aggregate Industries transported the aggregate used in its asphalt mixes by rail, further reducing its environmental impact.
To satisfy stringent noise restrictions where the scheme passes through built-up areas, Aggregate Industries utilised its unique ultra-low noise asphalt, 10mm SuperThin. This reduces noise levels by 7.8db(A) when compared with traditional hot rolled asphalt (HRA).
Paddy Murphy, Managing Director of Contracting at Aggregate Industries, said: “The early opening of the A14 to traffic is a monumental achievement. It is testament to the collaboration of all teams involved that we have delivered the UK’s largest, most prestigious infrastructure project to date in such good time, whilst meeting the highest safety standards.
“We’re also delighted that amongst the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, we were able to continue to work safely by adopting stringent measures and sticking to social distancing guidelines. The resulting road ensures that deliveries of vital supplies and key workers will be able to reach their destination.”
Around 200 workers from Aggregate Industries were involved in this infrastructure improvement scheme and, over the course of the project, not a single lost-time injury was sustained by the workforce.
Chris Hudson, Managing Director of Asphalt at Aggregate Industries, said: “We demonstrated our commitment to the rapid and successful completion of this project when we invested in an asphalt plant solely dedicated to the A14. It is brilliant to see that this commitment has paid off. With the new, improved A14 up and running so far ahead of schedule, it will be a great boost to the local community.”
While all major works have been completed, some works on verges, pedestrian footpaths and landscaping will continue until 2022, requiring some overnight closures. Details of these will be made available on Highways England’s channels.