A14 works, near Stowmarket, from Haughley to Tothill, approach anniversary
A major project to resurface a stretch of the A14 is nearing completion as it approaches the one year mark since construction began.
The road works near Stowmarket, between Haughley and Tothill from junction 47a to junction 49, is running on schedule after the project started on Monday, February 20, 2023.
The resurfacing is part of a long-term plan of investing £400 million to repair and replace roads across the country – with this part of the scheme costing £37 million to create a smoother and safer road surface for motorists using the A14.
National Highways is on track to complete the works by summer 2024 and Grant McConochie, senior project manager of Sisk Group contractors, said he is pleased with the project’s process so far.
He said: “Despite the terrible weather that we’ve had, we have managed to keep on programme that we’ve agreed with National Highways.
“The weather, especially through the summer, has definitely been a challenge. Our team dug in through this to deliver the eastbound carriageway.
“We’ve learnt a lot since we started on lane one and lane two, and it feels like we are improving with each lane as we go.
“People are really going to notice the difference. That old section of road desperately needed these works and the new low-noise asphalt we’re laying will be so much quieter.
“We can see the finishing line now. We just need people to bear with us for the next few months.”
Mr McConochie said another obstacle throughout the construction had been logistics as all the works are linear meaning if something is delayed it can have a large knock-on effect.
The construction plans were originally met with concerns in October 2022 after National Highways hosted four public information events for members of the public to learn more about the scheme and ask questions.
A couple in their 70s, who live on Haughley New Street, were frustrated after suffering sleepless nights due to traffic being diverted past their house due to the works.
Simon Amor, head of scheme delivery at National Highways, said: “We’re on programme and we’re about where we should be.
“There were some challenges at the start, especially with the rat running through Haughley, but we’ve done a lot of work with communities and Suffolk County Council to try and reduce that. We set up light signing, a safety camera van and temporary speed limits.”
The site reached a large milestone in October when the project reached its midway point with the completion of the eastbound carriageway.
Mr Amor added: “We’re working towards the summer finish but a lot of it is weather dependent. We’re really hoping for a kind and dry spring.
“We’re now about 60 per cent through the westbound carriageway and we just want to thank everyone for their patience this far.”