The award-winning A14 Improvement Scheme, a joint venture between Skanska, Costain and Balfour Beatty, is Britain’s biggest road project and was opened more than half a year early and delivered on budget.
The £1.5 billion scheme upgraded 21 miles of the A14 including a 12-mile new bypass to the south of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.
The A14 has changed the shape of infrastructure with archaeological, digital and sustainable development.
The A14 has been at the cutting edge of using digitalisation and new technology to deliver more effective, safer and sustainable solutions.
The project team developed Smart Permit to Dig , a web-based permit platform which manages utility asset information. It helps operatives to carry out construction activities in a way that enhances safety and value, saving the project more than £2.2 million.
Real-time, in-field visualisation of new routes and structures helped our team to plan and design around the 70 structures
across the 21-mile stretch of road. The software, called SiteVision, can depict models with accuracy within a few centimetres.
The A14 project involved one of the biggest, most complex archaeological projects ever undertaken in the UK. Finds have included:
- three Anglo Saxon villages
- an abandoned medieval village
- 100,000-year-old woolly mammoth tusks and a woolly rhino skull
- a Roman supply depot
- rare Roman coins from the third century.
Around 250 archaeologists from MOLA Headland Infrastructure investigated 33 sites across 360 hectares.
Around 900,000 trees and shrubs were planted throughout the project, where we planted two trees for every one that had to be removed for the new road to be built. We reduced the environmental impact by using local materials, with soil extracted from seven pits along the scheme used to form the embankments keeping the new road above the floodplain.
Further environmental work has seen the team care for ten protected species, including creating new habitats, such as for water voles.