Roadbuilding schemes worth £200million which aim to unlock economic growth by connecting new businesses and up to 7,000 new homes, are on course to be delivered on time and on budget.
The two linked projects are passing their one year milestone this spring and will be completed in spring 2017.
The 2.8 mile, £162million A5-M1 Link scheme is being delivered by Highways England, while the £38million, 1.8 mile Woodside Link project is being completed by Central Bedfordshire Council.
Delivering the schemes will unlock up to 40 hectares of land for businesses and provide the infrastructure for 7,000 homes to be built to the north of Houghton Regis. They will also provide better access to the M1 and reduce congestion in Dunstable.
Constructions milestones achieved so far on the A5-M1 link include starting work on the layout for the new M1 junction 11A, with new roundabouts and bridges, as well as the rebuilding of the B579 Luton Road East and West to align it with junction 11A. Work on the link road itself has progressed well too, with drainage, fencing and some of the foundations and surfacing completed so far. And work on the new A5 roundabout has started too.
Woodside Link milestones so far include the completion of major earthworks, the construction of two bridges, the installation of drainage and a retaining wall, and the cutting of ‘road boxes’ prior to surfacing.
Roads Minister Andrew Jones said:“We are determined to deliver better journeys and the infrastructure that will allow the economy to grow in Bedfordshire.”
Highways England project manager Karen Green said: “We have achieved a lot in the A5-M1 Link’s first year of construction and the scheme continues to progress well and on schedule.
“Once opened, we anticipate that both schemes together will provide significant improvements in terms of journey time reliability and safety for long distance and local traffic. Local communities will also see pressure easing on their local roads as more traffic will be using the new routes.”
Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Regeneration at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “The Woodside Link is the key piece of the regeneration jigsaw bringing jobs, homes and opportunities to the area. I’m pleased to see it is on schedule to open in spring 2017.”
The A5-M1 Link project, a new, 2.8 mile dual carriageway to improve the east-west connection between the A5 and M1, north of Dunstable, will help reduce congestion through Dunstable town centre, offering motorists better journey time reliability and safer journeys.
The £162.1m, award-winning project includes the building of a completely new dualled road, three new junctions including a new motorway junction, and six new bridges.
The £38.3m Woodside Link project will connect the industrial areas of Houghton Regis and Dunstable to a new M1 junction 11a. It is already attracting new businesses to the area. When open the 1.8 mile road will also reduce congestion on local roads and improve air quality.