One of the longest underground road tunnels in the country is close to completion, engineers have announced.
The twin Hindhead Tunnels, running under the Devil’s Punch Bowl in Surrey, will form a new stretch of the A3, linking London and Portsmouth.
Highways Agency officials said they expected the £371M project to be up and running from March of next year, with motorists benefiting from a quicker drive through Surrey by bypassing a former traffic bottleneck in Hindhead.
Highways Agency project manager Paul Arnold said: “Since we broke through the tunnel in 2009, the plans are becoming a reality, and while there is more work to be done before the end of the project, drivers won’t have to wait long before they can fully use the new road.”
The Devil’s Punch Bowl is a large hollow of dry sandy heath which, according to legend, was created when the devil tormented the god Thor by throwing handfuls of earth at him. The natural amphitheatre hollow, now a National Trust park and Site of Special Scientific Interest, was really created by springs that cut into the soft rock.