Finishing touches put to £49M Ely Southern Bypass

The much anticipated Ely Southern Bypass has opened to motorists following a comprehensive £49 million construction programme.

It was VolkerFitzpatrick who last month put the finishing touches to Ely Southern Bypass. This complex piece of infrastructure now connects the A142 at Angel Drove to Stuntney Causeway, and comprise a 1.7 kilometres long single carriageway road, a viaduct spanning the Great Ouse, and a bridge carrying traffic across two railway lines.

It is thought that the new route will ease congestion in and around Ely, enabling heavy goods vehicles to circumnavigate both a busy railway crossing and an accident-prone low bridge. The two year Design and Build has required over 2,000 tonnes of structural steelwork, more than 5,000 cubic metres of reinforced concrete and around 180,000 cubic metres of clay – more than half of which was sourced from a nearby farm in Stuntney.

The decision to re-purpose clay from a local source was one of several environmental objectives that saw Ely Southern Bypass named the ‘Most Sustainable Construction & Demolition Project’ at the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management Awards.

“It is great to see this challenging and rewarding project reaching its completion,” said Chris Evans, Managing Director of VolkerFitzpatrick Civils. “The bypass is a significant addition to Ely’s transport infrastructure and will greatly reduce congestion throughout the area.”

Colin Fowler, Highways Group Director at Tony Gee, who led the bypass’ design, added: “We feel honoured to have developed the concept and delivered the design of this high profile, technically complex project. Unique aesthetic features such as the viaduct ‘V-Piers’ and cantilevering walkway, in conjunction with challenging logistics were achieved through innovative thinking and collaboration between contractor, client and all our design disciplines.”

According to Sam White of Knight Architects, who authored the original architectural concept: “We were engaged by the council to design the major bridge structures on the new bypass route, and develop designs which respect the sensitivity of the surrounding fen landscape and protected views of Ely Cathedral. We are very pleased to have contributed to the project’s successful planning approval, through a ‘Beautiful Ordinary’ design, constructed in an environmentally responsible way.”

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