Work to strengthen major viaduct set for summer

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A scheme to strengthen the Huntingdon Railway Viaduct, which carries the A14 over the East Coast Main Line railway in Huntingdon, will begin next month this year.

The work will keep the viaduct, which was built in 1975, safe and reliable for road users. Work will strengthen the underside of the viaduct using steel beams installed below the existing viaduct; this will provide extra support for the bridge deck and spread the load borne by the existing joints.

To minimise disruption to road users, a scheme to reconstruct parts of the northbound A1(M) near Alconbury, where it meets the A14, has also been planned to coincide with the work. This scheme will take place during May and June.

Work on the viaduct will be limited to overnight lane closures on the A14 from mid-May, though some full closures will be required between Spittals and Alconbury for the A1(M) scheme during two weekends in June.

From March, there will also be overnight single lane or full closures on Brampton road, which runs beneath the viaduct, to carry out significant stages of the work on the structure safely. Clearly signed diversion routes will be in place during this time

Highways Agency Project Manager, Paul Sinfield said:

“Both the A14 and A1(M) are vital link roads for the east of England and we are committed to keeping both roads safe and reliable for road users.

“We have carefully scheduled these two projects to coincide to ensure minimal disruption to road users. We are working closely with Cambridgeshire County Council and local bus operators to minimise the impact on local roads in and around Huntingdon.

“We thank drivers for their patience while we carry out this work.”

The steel beams underneath the viaduct will reduce the available headroom for vehicles on Brampton Road. This new height restriction will be clearly signposted in both directions.

The main part of the scheme, to replace the steel beams, is due to start in summer 2013, with work expected to complete in the autumn.

The majority of work will be limited to lane closures only and will take place overnight between 8pm and 6am the following morning when traffic flows are at their lowest.

While work takes place the site office for the viaduct scheme will be based in Huntingdon Railway Station car park and some of the cycle racks next to the Premier car park will be moved from the area next to platform 1 to a new cycle area in the west side car park during this time. Any work affecting rail users will be communicated locally.

The Highways Agency will release traffic bulletins during each phase of the work to ensure road and train users are well informed of any closures and diversions.