South Devon Link Road on track despite poor weather
Posted on: 20 February 2013
Devon County Council and Torbay Council have announced that construction on the South Devon Link road is still on track, despite poor weather conditions.
Contractor Galliford Try is currently working on key aspects of the scheme, including removing a number of trees, shrubs and brambles along the planned route of the new road and undertaking extensive ecological work to minimise the impact on wildlife and flora. The scheme includes planting and transplanting over two miles of hedges, 38 acres of new woodland and 100 new specimen trees.
In addition, the detailed designs of the new road, which will bypass the existing A380 between Newton Abbot and Torbay, are being finalised and utility diversion work and flood culvert work is ongoing through Sainsbury’s car park.
Most of the demolition throughout the scheme has now taken place with just two properties left to be removed over the next few months.
A new property, built to replace a house which will be demolished as part of the scheme is also nearing completion.
A few aspects of the project have been delayed, including starting work on the new under 10s playground in Kingskerswell. The area, which will include a variety of different playground equipment to encourage creative and energetic play in a safe environment, has been water logged since the autumn. Construction on the playground is now due begin in the spring and should be complete by the summer.
Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation said: “We are pleased that the project is still on schedule, despite the appalling weather conditions over the last few months.
“Work is well underway – any project of this size is going to experience slight changes to timings, and we are ahead of schedule in some aspects and others have needed revision.”
Mayor of Torbay Gordon Oliver said: “Credit must go to everyone who continues to work on site in far from ideal weather conditions to maintain progress on this vital scheme.
“Hopefully we can all look forward to some better weather, which will no doubt be welcomed by the workforce as they keep this long awaited project on track.”
Jim Watson, Project Director at Galliford Try said: “We are pleased with how the project is progressing in the early stages of construction; however, we do realise that the visual impact of the site clearance and removal of large trees along the route may cause some concern.
“We would like to reassure the community that Galliford Try does not cut down trees unnecessarily. The removal of the larger pine trees along Torquay Road is a delicate process due to the location next to Network Rail, the current A380 and the proximity of many local residents.
“As a result, it is necessary for some night time work to undertake these operations and we are endeavouring to keep local residents and interested parties informed throughout the process.”
The 5.5km dual carriageway, which will provide the long awaited bypass for Kingskerswell, was granted full approval by the government in May last year.
The improved access to Torbay and South Devon is expected to bring lasting economic benefits leading to the creation of nearly 8,000 jobs.
It is anticipated that the road will move 95% of traffic away from Kingskerswell, restoring and revitalising the village.
Work began in autumn 2012 and is due to be completed by December 2015.
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