Over 3000 local people were among the first to walk along a section of the South Devon Link Road project on Saturday 25th July.
Approximately 3,500 people visited the site and were allowed to walk a 3km stretch of the new road at a unique Community Open Day event.
The idea behind the day was to give locals the opportunity to review the progress so far and walk along a stretch of the new route, months before traffic is permitted to drive on the road.
A variety of local businesses and charities attended the event and took the chance to celebrate this historic event.
As part of the celebrations John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council and Gordon Oliver, Torbay Mayor, announced the project is ahead of schedule and will be open for traffic in the autumn, ahead of the original December 2015 predicted date. It was confirmed that Galliford Try - the contractors responsible for constructing the road – have made such good progress on the road that it will be open to traffic earlier than expected.
John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council said: “It was a real community spirited event and fantastic to see so many people enjoying the walk along the route. From older residents who have watched this project become a reality to young children who were fascinated by the big plant and lorries, it was a great day.”
“We would like to thank everyone who came and all those who supported the day from sponsors to stall holders. We are looking forward to opening the road early - so a big well done to Galliford Try too."
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “I’m glad that so many people took the opportunity to visit this preview event. It was a great success and gave people the unique chance to take part in this historic occasion.”
Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver said: “Seeing everyone walking along the road was a wonderful sight! This was a great opportunity to celebrate the South Devon Highway and it has given the community a chance to see the transformation that has taken place so far.”
Chris Hastings, Project Director at Galliford Try, said: “We are now a step closer to the road being open to traffic and I want to thank the community for their support, patience and understanding throughout the construction process.”
Tracey Waygood, Public Liaison Officer for Galliford Try said "We received many compliments from those walking along the road from people who are very interested in how the scheme is progressing. The whole team worked very hard to pull this event together and the weather certainly helped to make the day a huge success."
The event was sponsored by South Devon College and Kitsons Solicitors and was supported by the Herald Express and Colour Digital Print.
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