Work on a much-anticipated highways scheme in Whittlesey has started five months early.
The occasion was marked with a first spade in the ground event, with those who have campaigned and supported the scheme over the last 20 years in attendance.
Work will include building a new road and bridge over the Ely to Peterborough railway line, which is due open to traffic by December 2022. The level crossing will be permanently closed as part of the redevelopment.
Construction was originally scheduled to begin by the end of this year.
Jones Bros is on site full-time and will be working alongside the county council to ensure local residents and businesses are kept informed throughout the duration of the project and any disruption is kept to a minimum.
Jones Bros managing director John Dielhof said: “The start of this project is an exciting milestone, particularly for the local residents and commuters who will benefit most when the development is completed. We look forward to delivering the King’s Dyke transport scheme on schedule and on budget.”
Work has begun on the earthworks which involves bringing in materials to construct the embankment that the new road will be built on and it will continue throughout the summer. The main site compound will be built next month and later this year, the focus will be on the structure for the underpass and bridge.
Cambridgeshire County Council leader Cllr Steve Count said: “I am thrilled that we are starting work on this vitally important project for the area and five months earlier than planned is a great achievement. This progress has been made despite the recent challenges caused by COVID-19 and while it remains a live issue, I’m glad some of us could get together, socially distanced, to celebrate.”
Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough James Palmer said: “Removing delays at the King’s Dyke crossing will unlock opportunity for the north of the county and bring investment, jobs, and homes.”
Cllr Chris Boden, local member for Whittlesey North and leader of Fenland District Council, said: “We have been campaigning for this scheme for more than 20 years and local residents and businesses will soon be able to reap the benefits of this much needed project.”
There will be a two-week road closure on the A605 put in place by Lindum Homes. During this time, Jones Bros will be taking the opportunity to carry out underground utility works to minimise disruption to the public.
Cambridgeshire County Council and Jones Bros have been working hard to manage the coronavirus situation and all construction activity will comply with the government’s COVID-19 restrictions and national construction site operating procedures.
Established in the 1950s, Jones Bros’ leadership team consists of members of the second and third generations of the founding family. It employs close to 500 people.
The company runs an award-winning apprenticeship scheme, which has produced more than 40 per cent of its current workforce, with many of its senior managers having started out as apprentices or in a trainee role. It has recruited more than 100 apprentices during the past three years.
For more information visit www.jones-bros.com