A new £32M road bridge in Chelmsford, Essex has been officially opened.
Highways England, who is behind the upgrade works, said that the bridge would increase capacity and help deliver better journeys for drivers.
The new three-lane A138 Chelmer Viaduct is 900m long and has been completed on time and on budget, according to Highways England. It has replaced a two-lane 1930s bridge which is now due to be demolished.
In total, around 1,800t of steel – worth over £3.6M – was used to build the new viaduct, all of which was sourced in the UK.
Highways England said that the project was an important part of the Government’s £15bn roads investment programme which is delivering the most extensive improvement to roads since the 1970s.
The Chelmsford project, which started in March 2015, has involved the construction of a new viaduct, building three lanes of carriageway, a shared footway and cycleway, and a new footpath.
“I am delighted that we have delivered this much-needed new bridge with an extra lane which will help cut journey times for hard-working people in Chelmsford and deliver economic growth,” said roads minister Andrew Jones.
“Our £15bn investment in Britain’s roads is all about completing local projects like this which replace ageing infrastructure, and create new capacity at the same time.”
The viaduct is expected to fully open to traffic by 18 April. Highways England said that after this date, there would be some BT cable work, lighting and final joint work still to complete which would involve minimal overnight lane closures.
Around 48,000m3 of earth was moved and 10,500m2 of surfacing was laid to complete the project.
The demolition of the old viaduct is due to commence in the summer, with final completion expected this winter.