The £36.6M scheme to construct 4.5km of dual two lane road through the National Park was a highly sensitive project to build, said Laing O'Rourke Infrastructure project leader Simon Russell.
"We put a lot of effort into working very closely with local stakeholders, the local authority and local communities to make sure everyone bought into the scheme," he said.
The route takes vehicles from junction 36 of the M6 on their way to Barrow and Sellafield off a narrow meandering lane and bypasses the
villages of High and Low Newton which had been cut in two by the weight of traffic.
Laing O'Rourke and its designer Pell Frischmann took care to think about the local environment. Cuttings were graded at 1:5 to preserve local views and 8km of dry stone walling was constructed on either side of the road to help the highway blend in. "Our biggest problem was the weather. We had 500,000m3 of muck to shift in two winters and Britain's wettest summer!" Russell said with feeling.