'We are moving ahead with Grantham relief road'
Column by Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council
I know many of you will have been closely following what’s been happening with the Grantham Southern Relief Road over the past six months.
All in all, it’s been an incredibly busy, and sometimes uncertain, time for Grantham’s biggest road project in decades. Not only was a public inquiry held, but we also received objections to the scheme and worked to getthem withdrawn.
However, the future of the project became much clearer this month when we were finally given the go-ahead by the Government to carry on with construction.
The process of holding an inquiry and getting a response from the Secretary of State usually takes about six months, but, thanks to a coordinated effort between the county council and Nick Boles MP, the Department for Transport and Secretary of State made a decision in just two months.
So what does this mean for the project? In short, it means we can finally start building the rest of the relief road.
The next step towards starting work again on site is finalising an agreement with our preferred Midlands Highways Alliance contractor, Galliford Try. We’re currently working on this and expect to have them fully signed on in the coming months.
From then, we’ll work closely with Galliford Try to get them geared up to start work this summer.
The first section of the road we’re going to crack on with is getting the B1174 joined up with the A1 trunk road, which will involve us working closely with Highways England to build a bridged junction connecting the two. And once we’ve made a start on this, we’ll then be looking to link the A52 at Somerby Hill up to the new roundabout off the B1174.
Connecting the A1 to the B1174 should take about 18 months to complete, whereas the A52 / B1174 connection will take approximately three years. This is down to the complexity of having to cross the Witham Valley, East Coast railway line and the River Witham by means of a viaduct/bridge.
The most important thing is that the relief road will be built, meaning Grantham isn’t far off from journey times becoming more reliable, congestion being reduced and economic growth occurring to the south of town.
It’s now just a matter of getting spades in the ground and diggers on-site so we can start building towards Grantham’s future.