Devon County Council and Torbay Council, along with Galliford Try - the contractors responsible for constructing the South Devon Highway - have announced that the remaining elements of the project are approaching completion.
Although the main route was opened to traffic in December last year, work in the surrounding area has continued. This has included drainage, fencing, landscaping, work to side roads and accommodation works in the surrounding area.
The offices, situated at Old Newton Road, were set up in 2012 and have acted as the central hub for the project, are to be removed over the coming weeks. At times in the project over 100 staff were based there.
As part of the process, the car park area will also be removed and the field will be landscaped, to help it blend in with the surrounding grassland.
Some landscaping will continue into the autumn, as this is the optimum time for planting and it is anticipated that this will be complete by December 2016. Landscaping is designed to enhance the environment, improve the ecological habitat, compensate for lost vegetation and minimise the visual impact of the road.
In the months that have passed since opening to traffic, the South Devon Highway has substantially improved journey times in the area. Traffic counts have shown that the surrounding local traffic network is much quieter, with a significant drop in traffic particularly through Kingskerswell village.
Since opening the project has notched up a number of prestigious awards, including two Institute of Civil Engineering awards, a gold Considerate Constructors award, an Institute of Highway Engineers award, an Institution of Highways and Transportation award and a gold Green Apple award for sustainable use of materials. The project has also recently been shortlisted for four national British Construction Industry Awards.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “We know that to many people the opening of the South Devon Highway to traffic in December was the end of the project: however, this project has always been about much more than just building a road.
“It has also included constructing flood prevention measures, improving journey reliability, road safety and air quality. Since December work has continued to complete the cycle route and landscaping of the project. This is all about to draw to a close however, heralding the completion of the whole project.”
Gordon Oliver, Elected Mayor of Torbay, said: “The impact of the South Devon Highway on Torbay and the surrounding area so far has been enormous. We are really pleased that the completion works are nearly finished, and that we can work on reaping the benefits the new road is already bringing.”
Chris Hastings, Project Director at Galliford Try, said: “The team at Galliford Try have enjoyed working on this important award-winning project, whilst contributing to the development of the local area at the same time.”
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